Apple wins an appeal, putting off a $308 million US patent ruling.
On Friday, a US appeals court upheld the decision to throw out a $308.5 million jury verdict against Apple Inc. (AAPL.O) for allegedly breaking a digital rights management patent.
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., upheld an East Texas federal judge’s decision that Personalized Media Communications LLC’s patent was invalid because the company broke the rules when dealing with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
PMC didn’t say anything about the decision. Representatives from Apple did not respond right away when asked for a comment.
In 2015, PMC, a company that licences patents, sued Apple for breaking several of its patents. In August 2021, a jury in East Texas said that the FairPlay software used to decrypt movies, music, and apps in Apple’s iTunes and App Store broke one of the patents and gave the company $308.5 million in damages.
Four months later, District Judge Rodney Gilstrap threw out the verdict. He said that PMC’s patent couldn’t be enforced because the company had applied for it using a “deliberate strategy of delay,” which was a “conscious and egregious misuse of the statutory patent system.”
Gilstrap said that PMC had used a bad “submarine” strategy, which was something that some applicants did before 1995 to keep patents from becoming public until there was a market for their invention.
By a vote of 2-1, the Federal Circuit upheld Gilstrap, saying that PMC’s “unfair scheme to extend its patent rights” hurt Apple.