Apple to Pay $506 Million for Infringing on PanOptis’ 4G LTE Patents
Apple has been ordered to pay $506 million to PanOptis for infringing on its 4G LTE patents, as per a Texas federal court ruling.
As per Law360, the Texas federal jury said that Apple failed to prove that any of PanOptis' LTE patents were invalid which shows that the company knowingly infringed the patents. The lawsuit claims that Apple's various products with cellular capabilities, including iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, infringe on its 7 patents related to LTE.
PanOptis, Optis Wireless Technology, Optis Cellular Technology, Unwired Planet, and Unwired Planet International hold these patents for which Apple was sued. These shell companies had previously tried to negotiate with Apple for a licensing deal, but the company did not respond positively to the offer. Companies of Apple's size usually takes patent trolls to court, rather than negotiating with them.
Apple had tried to get the trial postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the judge ordered for the 7-day trial proceedings to go on despite Apple's protests.
As per the court order, Apple has to pay $506.2 million to PanOptis, as royalty for products it has sold in the past which infringe on patents held by the company.
Apple gave a statement on the ruling and shared its plans to appeal the verdict:
"We thank the jury for their time but are disappointed with the verdict and plan to appeal," Apple said in a statement. "Lawsuits like this by companies who accumulate patents simply to harass the industry only serve to stifle innovation and harm consumers."
It is likely that the court battle will go on for some time considering the appeal process involved as well as the awarded sum of money. Apple would try to bring down the damages awarded to PanOptis or try and reach a post-trial settlement to pay a smaller amount.
PanOptis previously sued Huawei for patent infringement and was awarded $13.2 million as part of a post-trial settlement agreement.