Patent trollin’: Judge nixes PMC’s $308.5 million ruling against Apple

The judge overseeing Apple’s legal battle with patent troll Personalized Media Communications (PMC) has tossed out an US$308.5 million ruling against the tech giant, reports Bloomberg.

When delivering the verdict, U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap said that PMC had an underlying scheme to fleece more money from tech companies. He added that PMC’s patent for digital rights management is unenforceable because the company intentionally delayed its application at the U.S. Patent and Trade Office office so it could get more money later. 

In March, a federal jury in Texas ruled that Apple had to pay $308.5 million in royalties to PMC after a federal jury in Marshall, Texas, ruled that the tech giant violated a patent related to digital rights management.

The patent troll sued Apple in 2015 claiming it infringed its patents with tech including FairPlay. FairPlay is digital rights management tech and was used by the tech giant until 2009 to protect copyrighted works sold through the iTunes Store, allowing only authorized devices to play the content. In January 2009, Apple signed deals with all major record labels as well as many independent labels to offer all iTunes music with a DRM-free option.

PMC owns a fundamental patent portfolio relating to the control of networked equipment, including online and mobile environments.

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.