Apple hit with $300 million patent verdict after new Optis trial

The Apple logo is seen at an Apple Store, as Apple’s new 5G iPhone 12 went on sale in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

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  • Lowers previous jury award of $506 million for infringing LTE patents
  • New trial ordered in April

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(Reuters) – Apple Inc owes a $300 million lump sum for infringing wireless standard-essential patents owned by IP management company Optis Wireless Technology and its affiliates, a federal jury in an East Texas federal court said Friday after a four-day trial.

A jury ruled last year in the same case that Apple owed $506 million for infringing Plano, Texas-based Optis, PanOptis Patent Management, and Unwired Planet’s LTE patents with technology found in its iPhone and other LTE-capable products. U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap ordered a new trial in his Marshall, Texas, court in April, after finding the award may not have been in line with Optis’ responsibility to license the patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

“We thank the jury for their time but are disappointed by the verdict and plan to appeal,” Apple spokesperson Josh Rosenstock said in an email. “Optis makes no products and its sole business is to sue companies using patents they accumulate. We will continue to defend against their attempts to extract unreasonable payments.”

Apple’s attorney Mark Selwyn of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did Optis and its attorneys Jason Sheasby and Annita Zhong of Irell & Manella.

The case is Optis Wireless Technology LLC v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, No. 2:19-cv-00066.

For Apple: Mark Selwyn of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, Melissa Smith of Gillam Smith

For Optis: Jason Sheasby and Annita Zhong of Irell & Manella, Sam Baxter of McKool Smith, Jill Bindler of Gray Reed & McGraw

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Blake Brittain

Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com

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Blake Brittain