Both Apple and “patent troll” Uniloc have asked a court to keep secret the license fees paid to the patent assertion entity, according to 9to5Mac. However, while a ruling has been granted for now, the case has been referred back to the original judge to determine whether the secrecy is justified, the article adds.
About the legal brouhaha
In May 2021, Apple fended off a challenge at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to a largely favorable ruling from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The board had invalidated parts of a patent that Uniloc had accused Apple of infringing with its FaceTime technology.
However, Circuit Judge William Bryson, writing for a three-judge panel, rejected Uniloc’s attempt to revive parts of the patent as well as Apple’s request to cancel others based on an earlier patent that disclosed a similar system.
Uniloc’s lawsuit claims the tech giant violated a patent it owns for a “system and method for network based policy enforcement of intelligent-client features.” Uniloc, an Australia-based company, has sued Apple numerous times on dubious claims.
What’s a patent troll?
A “patent troll” is an individual or an organization that purchases and holds patents for unscrupulous purposes such as stifling competition or launching patent infringement suits. In legal terms, a patent troll is a type of non-practicing entity: someone who holds a patent but is not involved in the design or manufacture of any product or process associated with that patent.