Plaintiff Optis Wireless Technology specialises in the acquisition of patents and the filing of litigation.
Marshal Unless you are a patent troll, Texas is not a big city in the Lone Star State. Juries in the little town, roughly three hours east of Dallas, tend to rule against large firms, making it ideal for companies trying to compete with Big Tech.
Last week a US District Court judge in Marshall, Texas, ordered Apple to pay $300 million in damages to Optis Wireless for patent infringement. The company claimed that Apple uses technology in its iPhone’s 4G/LTE setup that violated its registered intellectual property.
Other companies previously owned all five patents. Panasonic owned two, LG had two, and Samsung developed the last one. Optis acquired them between 2014 and 2017 and almost immediately began filing various lawsuits over them.
A jury awarded Optis and its partners $506.2 million in the case last year, but District Court Judge Rodney Gilstrap overturned the decision and ordered a fresh hearing to determine damages. According to FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) licencing, Judge Gilstrap agreed with Apple that the jury did not reach an acceptable award number.
On Friday, the retrial concluded. According to the Register, the jury gave Optis $300 million, or nearly two days of income for the Cupertino powerhouse—a 40% drop. Apple, on the other hand, intends to appeal the verdict, claiming that Optis is nothing more than a patent troll that generates cash solely through lawsuits.
“Optis makes no products, and its sole business is to sue companies using patents they accumulate,” an Apple spokesperson told Reuters in a statement. “We will continue to defend against their attempts to extract unreasonable payments for patents they acquire.”