A Texas court in the United States ordered Apple to pay $ 506 million ($ 2.7 billion in direct conversion) damages in a patent infringement lawsuit.
The technology giant has been accused by PanOptis of using 4G-related solutions on iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches. The process has been running since February 2019. Despite today’s decision, the apple company can still appeal.
The jury’s justification for the verdict was based on the lack of evidence to invalidate PanOptis’ accusations, which led it to consider that Apple was intentionally infringing the patents.
PanOptis filed the complaint against the manufacturer in February last year on behalf of it and four other companies that are part of the organization. They do not produce technology, they only hold patents and earn revenue through indemnities. Precisely for this reason, this type of company is known as “patent trolls”.
Apple even criticized the conduct of these organizations in a press release. The company said it was frustrated with the decision. “We thank the jury for their time, but we are disappointed with the verdict and plan to appeal. Processes like this by companies that accumulate patents simply to pursue the industry only serve to stifle innovation and harm consumers, ”said Apple.
PanOptis companies have accused the manufacturer of infringing five patents related to 4G LTE technology present on its devices, but that it tried to negotiate with it in order to obtain a license to receive part of the profits. The organization claimed that Apple, however, refused to negotiate, acting in bad faith.
Apple also criticized the urgency demanded by the jury for the hearings, appealing for the Covid-19 pandemic moment under health risk argument. Judge Rodney Gilstrap replied that he was taking all hygiene precautions recommended by the World Health Organization.