Apple Ordered to Pay $85 Million in Royalties to WiLan in Patent Infringement Case

Apple must pay $85 million in royalties to Canadian patent holding company WiLan for infringing patents related to wireless communications, a jury in San Diego has ruled (via Bloomberg).

wilan logo
The two patents relate to making phone calls while simultaneously downloading data. In August 2018, a different jury said Apple infringed the patents and awarded WiLan $145 million, but a retrial was ordered to reconsider the damages.

At the previous retrial in January 2019, the court agreed that Apple had infringed on the patents. However, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw accepted Apple's argument that the method WiLan had used to calculate the appropriate royalty rate was flawed.

Sabraw urged the Quarterhill company to accept reduced damages of $10 million or prepare for another trial to figure out how much Apple needed to pay. WiLan chose another trial.

WiLan came to the latest royalty figure of $85 million based on iPhone sales. Apple unsuccessfully argued in court papers that the Ottawa-based holding company hadn't provided enough evidence to help the jury determine it was entitled to anything.

WiLan describes itself as "one of the most successful patent licensing companies in the world." Apple's legal dispute with WiLan started back in 2010, when WiLan claimed Apple violated one of its Bluetooth related products.

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Top Rated Comments

Zachari Avatar
57 months ago
Patent trolls need to die.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
57 months ago
Making phone calls while simultaneously downloading data...because the rest of the world didn't think about that idea.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Carnegie Avatar
57 months ago
...

At the January 2019 retrial, the court agreed ('https://www.macrumors.com/2019/01/07/wilan-apple-dispute-damages-award-lowered/') that Apple had infringed on the patents. However, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw accepted Apple's argument that the method WiLan had used to calculate the appropriate royalty rate was flawed.

...
A couple corrections...

The retrial was in January 2020, not in January 2019. Judge Sabraw's decision, finding (effectively) for Apple on its motion for a new trial on damages and against Apple on its motion for judgment as a matter of law, came in January 2019.

Also, the court - i.e. Judge Sabraw - didn't agree that Apple had infringed the patents at issue. Rather, she denied Apple's motion for judgment as a matter of law. In other words, she found that Apple's legal and evidentiary arguments weren't sufficient to warrant overturning the jury's finding with regard to infringement. That's quite different from the court agreeing with the jury that Apple had infringed.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kabeyun Avatar
57 months ago

WiLan describes itself as "one of the most successful patent licensing companies in the world."
In my dream world, there’s no such thing as a patent licensing company.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spyguy10709 Avatar
57 months ago
"In 2006, WiLAN changed their business model. Instead of focusing on research and development and trying to commercialize its patent technology, WiLAN divested its various technology product lines to refocus its business on licensing intellectual property and patent rights."

Trolls.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zoboomafoo Avatar
57 months ago

suprising apple didn't move to invalidate the patent. it sounds painfully obvious as most patents are.
i can’t stress this enough, that’s not how patents work. You cannot patent an idea.


Making phone calls while simultaneously downloading data...because the rest of the world didn't think about that idea.
everyone had the idea maybe, but they had the method for actually achieving that idea. That’s what was patented and, apparently, Apple copied that.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)