Apple faces $625 million fines over patents: report

Oct 05, 2010
The Apple, seen on the facade of a Paris store. Apple has decided to challenge a legal decision that could see it pay up to $625.5 million in fines for infringing several patents, the New York Times has reported.

Apple has decided to challenge a legal decision that could see it pay up to 625.5 million dollars in fines for infringing several patents, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

The firm's decision came after a federal jury in Tyler, Texas found had infringed on three patents belonging to a company called Mirror Worlds in products including its iPod, and Macintosh computers.

The jury awarded Mirror Worlds 208.5 million dollars in damages for each patent infringement, but the verdict has not been formally entered by the judge overseeing the case.

Apple filed an emergency motion on Sunday seeking to stall the process, the Times reported.

Apple is arguing that it would be wrong for the jury to force it to pay three separate fines for the infringements, which are related in part to the way files are displayed on the company's popular tech devices.

If the fines stand, Apple faces a payment that would be one of the largest patent awards in US history, the newspaper said. Apple declined to comment.

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Gena777
not rated yet Oct 18, 2010
Though I don't condone patent infringement, this is a pretty large award. Apple can bankroll it, but nonetheless this underscores the unfortunate (though perhaps unavoidable) lack of any baseline or bright line in determining damage awards for patent infringement. It's one of the many significant issues that Congress, if it were truly functional, would immediately address in patent reform legislation. Until that happens, however, patentees have the right to enforce their IP to the greatest legal extent, and the courts have discretion to determine damage awards.
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