MobileMedia Ideas LLC, a Sony-owned holding company, MPEG-LA and Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) brought the case against Apple and on Thursday after a week-long trial, a federal jury found the company had misappropriated protected technology for the phones, reported Bloomberg.
This ruling comes after Maryland-based MobileMedia sued Apple in 2010 alleging it had infringed on 14 electronics patents. The case then went to trial after U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson cut the number of patents to three; one is associated with the iPhone camera while the other two are from the accepting or rejecting of phone calls.
In MobileMedia's complaint, it alleged possible “irreparable injury” should Apple be allowed to utilize the patented inventions in its iPhone but not pay royalties to do so.
The company has approximately 300 patents in its portfolio and because it doesn't make products, it is unable to be countersued.
MobileMedia Chief Executive Officer Larry Horn said after the trial via Bloomberg, “We’re very pleased. We think it’s justified.”
A damages trial will take place but it has not been scheduled. Horn believes the amount could be "substantial."
On the news, Apple's stock dropped $9.31 (1.7 percent) to $529.69 on Thursday.
Meanwhile, this case is just one of many patent ones against Apple and its iPhone. But it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise as the coveted smartphone is No. 1 the U.S., according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
From data through 12 weeks that ended on Oct. 28, the phone had been found to outsell the handsets that utilize Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android software.
At one time, only AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) sold the phone but now it is offered by its competitors including Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) and starting next year, T-Mobile USA Inc.
Other infringement news against Apple came on Oct. 2 when Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd (LON:BC94) added the iPhone 5 to its existing patent infringement case against the company.
We wrote about this and included in the story the following Samsung statement, “We have always preferred to compete in the marketplace with our innovative products, rather than in courtrooms. However, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to take aggressive legal measures that will limit market competition. Under these circumstances, we have little choice but to take the steps necessary to protect our innovations and intellectual property rights.”
With the iPhone 5 addition, it broadened the global patent infringement battle between the smartphone manufacturers, further creating some bad blood that likely won't go away any time soon.