A Texas federal jury has asked Apple Inc. to pay Optis Wireless Technology $ 506.2 million in patent royalties related to 4G technology in the iPhone and other devices.
The jury in Marshall found that five patents had been infringed. He also found the offense to be willful, meaning District Judge Rodney Gilstrap could increase the amount up to three times the amount set by jurors.
Optis and its partners in the case, Panoptis Patent Management and Unwired Planet LLC, have claimed that Apple smartphones, watches and tablets running under the LTE cellular standard are using its technology. Apple, which argued the patents were invalid, pledged to appeal.
“Lawsuits like this by companies that accumulate patents just to harass the industry only serve to stifle innovation and harm consumers,” Apple said in a statement.
The case is in the same district in east Texas where Apple faces another potential half-billion verdict. VirnetX Holding Corp. requests royalties on the virtual private network on demand from Apple. An earlier jury had awarded $ 503 million, but an appeals court ordered a new trial on damages after dismissing part of the underlying liability finding.
The VirnetX trial was due to start next week in Tyler, but District Court Judge Robert Schroeder postponed it to October on Monday, saying the region was “in the midst of a Covid-19 outbreak”.
Apple was less successful in pushing back the Optis trial until October, although its arguments were made in July, when there were fewer cases in the region.
Optis lawyers said this was the first patent jury trial in the United States since the start of the pandemic.
“The court has been very careful and aware of the juror spacing,” said Jason Sheasby, attorney at Optis. “Everyone wore face masks and the court was totally focused on the health of jurors and the health of witnesses.”
The case is Optis Wireless Technology v. Apple Inc., 19-66, US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (Marshall).