Sunday, January 24, 2021

Apple fines $ 500 million for 4G patent infringements

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Apple must pay more than $ 500 million in damages and interest for 4G patent infringements held by intellectual property company PanOptis, a Texas court ruled.

The US tech giant, now worth nearly $ 2 trillion, will appeal Tuesday’s decision, local media said.

PanOptis, which specializes in patent licensing, took Apple to court in February last year, alleging that it refused to pay for the use of 4G LTE technologies in its smartphones, tablets and watches.

“The plaintiffs have repeatedly negotiated with Apple to reach an agreement for a FRAND license for the plaintiff’s patent portfolios that Apple is infringing,” the court document read.

FRAND refers to terms that are “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory” and is the IT industry standard for the use of technology.

“The negotiations have been unsuccessful because Apple refuses to pay a royalty from FRAND to the plaintiff’s license.”

Apple argued unsuccessfully that the patents were invalid, according to legal publications.

“Lawsuits like this by companies hoarding patents simply to harass the industry only serve to stifle innovation and harm consumers,” Apple said in a statement reported by the media.

The case is one of many patent lawsuits from licensing companies that do not manufacture products but have rights to certain technologies. Critics call these companies “patent trolls.”

The Texas court has twice ruled against Apple in the past, demanding that it pay hundreds of millions of dollars to VirnetX, another company specializing in patent litigation.

On its website, PanOptis offers to manage its clients’ patents, allowing them to focus on “innovation and new developments”.

[AFP]

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