Apple defeats patent trolls in courtroom combat

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The lesser-spotted patent troll.
Want... Apple... money. Photo: Andrew Becraft/Flickr CC
Photo: Andrew Becraft/Flickr CC

Chalk one up for Cupertino! A federal jury in Texas (where else?) said on Monday that Apple didn’t infringe on five wireless tech patents belonging to the patent licensing company Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc.

The verdict comes as a relief, since it follows one month on from a jury in the same Texas courthouse ordering Apple to pay out $532.9 million for iTunes-related patent infringement: one of the biggest examples of damages awarded in patent history.

Conversant first sued Apple back in 2012, claiming the company used its patents for data transmission on both the iPhone and iPad, although it later scaled down its accusation from 12 cases of patent infringement to just five. Conversant acquired around 2,000 patents and patent applications from Nokia back in 2011. Microsoft was known to be one of the company’s licensees at the time, but it’s unknown whether this is still the case.

Conversant was seeking $100 million in damages, and argued that it was entitled to a percentage of Apple’s future device sales. Apple’s lawyers, obviously, disagreed.

As Reuters points out in its report, Apple is the company targeted most often by patent troll companies which make their money from enforcing patents as opposed to manufacturing actual products.

Still, Tim Cook and chums prevailed on this occasion!