Jury orders Apple to pay $308 million in royalties for DRM patent

Enlarge / The federal courthouse in Marshall, Texas.

Photograph by Mario Villafuerte/Bloomberg by way of Getty Photographs

A jury in the plaintiff-welcoming Japanese District of Texas has purchased Apple to shell out $308.5 million to a little, privately held company for infringing a patent similar to digital rights management. 

An pro for Individualized Media Communications, the plaintiff, approximated that Apple owed $240 million. But just after a five-working day trial, the jury enhanced the volume by purchasing Apple to pay a functioning royalty, which bases the award on profits or use of a solution. 

The jury observed that Apple infringed on 1 of Customized Media’s patents when it created the FairPlay DRM technique. That DRM would form the foundation of the iTunes Tunes Store, which was released in April 2003. Initially, the DRM-locked audio information have been restricted to Mac and iPod customers who ordered audio through the iTunes Tunes Retail store, though utilization expanded when Apple rolled the program out to Home windows people later that yr and yet again when the enterprise introduced its Apple New music streaming company in 2015. 

Personalized Media experienced originally submitted the lawsuit in 2015, alleging infringement of seven patents. Apple properly challenged the fit prior to the Patent Trial and Enchantment Board, a lawful system of the US Patent and Trademark Business. But previous year, a federal appeals court struck down the PTAB ruling, discovering that some of Individualized Media’s statements for one particular of the 7 patents ended up, in truth, patentable. The patent in problem was initially submitted in 1995 but was not granted until 2012, nearly a 10 years right after the iTunes Songs Retailer released.

“Cases like this, introduced by providers that never make or market any solutions, stifle innovation and eventually hurt buyers,” Apple wrote to numerous shops in an emailed statement. Apple says it will charm the new verdict.

Individualized Media is rather of an outlier in the patent-keeping entire world presented that it claims to only keep and protect patents created internally. Stereotypical patent trolls file lawsuits to defend patents they keep or receive from other organizations. 

The smaller company has also filed lawsuits from Netflix, Google, and Akamai. It shed the Google trial late very last year.

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