Apple Ordered to Pay PanOptis $506 Million for Violating LTE Patents
Apple needs to pay PanOptis $506 million for willfully infringing on a handful of patents related to 4G LTE technology, a Texas federal jury ruled today (via Law360).
The jury said that Apple did not prove that PanOptis' patent claims were invalid, resulting in the order to pay $506 million in royalties. PanOptis first levied a lawsuit against Apple in February 2019 on behalf of five of its wireless companies, accusing Apple of violating seven patents related to LTE standards.
According to PanOptis, all LTE-enabled Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, infringe on its LTE patents. PanOptis had requested damages "in the form of reasonable royalties" when demanding a jury trial last year.
PanOptis and its sister companies, Optis Wireless Technology, Optis Cellular Technology, Unwired Planet, and Unwired Planet International, are non-practicing entities that hold patents and generate revenue through patent litigation, otherwise known as patent trolls.
Just prior to when the lawsuit was originally filed, Apple began the process of closing all of its stores in the Eastern District of Texas, presumably in an effort to avoid patent infringement lawsuits in the jurisdiction, which is a favorite of patent trolls. PanOptis' lawsuit and jury trial took place in the Eastern District of Texas.
Apple will undoubtedly appeal today's decision.