Apple to pay $308.5 million for infringing patent with FairPlay technology

PMC was found to not be a patent troll as it licenses its own internally invented patent on an exclusive basis.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor

Apple has been ordered to pay $308.5 million to Personalized Media Communications (PMC) after a federal jury in Texas came to the conclusion that the latter's patents were infringed.

One of the patents in question is a "method of decrypting programming at a receiver station", which the jury found Apple had used without permission for its digital rights management technology, FairPlay.

FairPlay is used in Apple's App Store, Apple Music, and iTunes.

Despite PMC not being a creator or seller of any products, the court found that the company was not a patent troll as it licenses its own internally invented patent on an exclusive basis.

The $308.5 million figure is the culmination of royalties from when Apple first infringed the patents. In addition, the jurors have also directed that Apple pay a running royalty to PMC for when the patent is used in its products, which is based on the amount of sales of a product or service.

The legal battle commenced back in 2015, when PMC accused Apple of infringing seven of its patents.

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Apple successfully challenged the validity of PMC's patents at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. An appeals court last year reversed the board's decision, however, which led to the legal fight being revived and the latest jury decision.

In November last year, PMC lost a patent trial it had lodged against Google for different patents, and is currently in litigation with Netflix.

Last year, Apple paid $500 million to settle a class-action lawsuit in the US that had claimed the company artificially degraded iPhone performance to boost upgrades.

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