US judge tosses $625 million award against Apple

Apr 05, 2011
The Apple logo is displayed on the exterior of an Apple retail store in San Francisco, California. A US District Court judge in Texas has tossed out a $625.5 million damages award against Apple in a patent infringement case involving a document management and display system.

A US District Court judge in Texas has tossed out a $625.5 million damages award against Apple in a patent infringement case involving a document management and display system.

Judge Leonard Davis of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Tyler, Texas, vacated the jury's finding against Apple in the case filed by a company called Mirror Worlds in March 2008.

Mirror Worlds had accused Apple Macintosh computers powered by the Mac OS X operating system of infringing on patents held by the company founded by a Yale University professor.

In October, a jury found that had infringed three patents and awarded $208.5 million in damages for each .

Judge Davis, however, in a 44-page ruling on Monday, vacated the damages award, which would have been one of the largest ever in the United States.

"Separate and apart from the sufficiency of evidence regarding infringement, there is insufficient evidence to support the jury's $208.5 million damages award," the judge said.

"No matter how attractive a party paints the facade of its case, it is worthless without the requisite foundational support," the judge said.

"In this case, Mirror Worlds may have painted an appealing picture for the jury, but it failed to lay a solid foundation sufficient to support important elements it was required to establish under the law," he said.

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User comments : 7

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Kingsix
3 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2011
I wonder how much Steve paid Leonard for that one, or did he just give him a free iPad2.
GaryB
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
I have a hard time tearing up for patent trolls.
slash
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Why don't patents require the specification of awards in case of infringement, right upon filing them, rather than leave it to the companies later? If they were, maybe people at the patent office would finally wake up at the ridiculosity of the things they grant.
LuckyExplorer
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Nice judgement, at least for giant companies!
Appart from the problem that very often patents ar granted where you must have your doubts regarding the intelligence of the people in a patent office, this judgement hits all small inventores that do not have the ability (money) to realize their invention.
Every big (rich) company can steal it and apply the technology without paying just one cent.
GREAT DEAL!
OK, there might be a miss-relation between the granted money and the real value (damage) in the first lawsuite. This could be discussed..
LuckyExplorer
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Another thought about that:
What about companies that just deal with patents. They buy patents and sell licenses, but never think about using the patent themselfes?
USE THESE PATENTS JUST WITHOUT PAYING ANY LICENSE FEE?
ruebi
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
I thought if you proved to a jury that someone was innocent or guilty of a certain action, that someone was then guilty or innocent, because the jury found the evidence to be worthy of said decision.

Either this judge owns a lot of stock in Apple or they bought him out. So sad.
slash
not rated yet Apr 07, 2011
@ruebi:
The jury determines the verdict, the judge determines the penalty/award. In case of an award, it's the judges right to question the validity of the amount demanded, otherwise anyone suffering trivial damage could ask for ridiculous compensations, and that is exactly what was about to happen here - or so the judge decided.

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