Apple faces a lot of patent lawsuits all the time, and it wins some cases and loses others. This time the tech giant won a case filed against it by Conversant Intellectual Property Management, a Canada-based patent licensing firm.
Apple case dates back three years
Andrew Chung of Reuters reports that Core Wireless Licensing Sarl, which is a subsidiary of the patent firm, filed a lawsuit against Apple in 2012 in Texas. The firm accused Apple of infringing upon its wireless data transmission patents in the iPhone and iPad.
After five hours of deliberations, the jury turned in its verdict last night. Nokia originally owned the patents. Core Wireless sought $100 million in damages in the case, including a portion of sales of the Apple devices and of future devices. Apple said if it even owed any damages, they should be less than $1 million.
Apple argues its case
Apple claimed Core Wireless did not license its patents in a non-discriminatory fashion, which it is obligated to do for patents that cover standards within the tech industry. The Conversant subsidiary accused Apple of violating more than 12 of its patents. Last year, however, the company cut a number of patents from the lawsuit twice in an attempt to make the case easier. Core Wireless left only five patents in the case.
Conversant bought Core Wireless in 2011. At the time of the acquisition, there was an agreement between Core Wireless, Nokia and Microsoft. According to Reuters, company documents indicate that Microsoft had a license to use the patents. In the deal to acquire Core Wireless, Conversant reportedly said it would give two-thirds of its licensing and litigation revenue from those patents to Microsoft and Nokia. However, that agreement is apparently no longer in force.
A Microsoft spokesperson emailed ValueWalk the following statement: “Microsoft no longer has a financial stake in Core Wireless.”
Apple loses big case
Companies that make their money through licensing rather than selling devices tend to focus on Apple the most often. Last month a Texas jury in the same district as the case filed by Core Wireless ruled against Apple, ordering a payment of $532.9 million in damages to be made by Apple. That was one of the biggest verdicts in a patent case ever. That case related to Apple’s iTunes software and was filed by Smartflash LLC, another patent licensing firm.
The most-watched patent cases involve Apple and Samsung, which seem to have enjoyed suing each other over and over in various courts around the globe.
At the time of this writing, shares of Apple were up by 0.22% to $125.23 per share.