Apple must pay $145.1 million for infringing on patents


Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
Apple has battled WiLan in court before.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has been ordered to pay out $145.1 million in damages for infringing on patents held by the Canadian patent licensing company WiLan.

A federal jury in San Diego, California ruled that the iPhone infringed on two WiLan patents. These “8,457,145” and “8,537,757” patents relate to wireless communications tech — specifically bandwidth request protocols in a wireless communication system and adaptive call admission control.

Apple denied the infringement in filings made before the trial. It has said that it will appeal the damages ruling.

Apple’s history with WiLan

This isn’t the first time Apple has found itself opposite WiLan in court. WiLan previously sued Apple in 2007 for its use of Wi-Fi, in 2010 for its use of Bluetooth, a 2011 lawsuit for Wi-Fi and HSPA patents, and on at least one other occasion.

The results haven’t always gone against Apple, either. In 2013, a jury came down on Apple’s side in litigation in which WiLan was seeking $248 million in damages for alleged patent infringement.

WiLan was founded in 1992 as a maker of broadband wireless technologies. However, since then it has shifted to a business model that’s reliant on licensing its patent portfolio to other companies.

A target for patent lawsuits

As the biggest tech company in the world, Apple has long been a top target for patent lawsuits. At any one moment, it has multiple lawsuits that it’s grappling with — ranging from long-running ones like the recently concluded Samsung lawsuit and current Qualcomm battle down to smaller suits from patent holding companies.

Last month, Apple was slapped with two lawsuits, both related to its Siri technology. The first of these came from the company Advanced Voice Recognition Systems, while the second was from a company called SpeakWare.

As with WiLan, both these companies appear to be businesses which make most, if not all, their money licensing out their technology out to other companies — or suing when an agreement is not reached.

Source: Reuters and PRnewswire