Patent trollin’: Apple says $506 million dollar jury verdict in PanOptis battle is tainted

Apple wants a “redo” after hitting hit with an US$506 million jury verdict in its legal patent with PanOptis According to Law360 (a subscription is required to read the entire article), the tech giant says the verdict is “tainted” with uncertainty because nine claims from five patents were rolled into one question, which makes it “impossible to know” which of PanOptis’ claims the jury agreed with in its response.

In August 2020, Eastern District of Texas jury ruled that Apple should pay PanOptis and related companies more than $506 million for willfully infringing patents covering 4G LTE technology. That number was considered a royalty for past sales, according to the verdict form. PanOptis is described as an “an intellectual property management and finance firm.”

In February 2019, a group of firms operating under the name Optis Wireless Technology (including Optis Wireless Technology LLC, Unwired Planet LLC, and PanOptis Patent Management LLC) sued Apple over seven patents connected to LTE cellular standards. Every LTE Apple device is affected, including not just iPhones but iPads and the Apple Watch, according to court documents. The plaintiffs — who seem to be “patent trolls” — say that, as recently as January 2017, they were talking to Apple about licensing patents on FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms, but came to no agreement. 

By the way, 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.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.