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A federal jury in Texas has ordered Apple to pay around $308.5 million to a local licensing firm for infringing a patent related to digital rights management, reports Bloomberg.

PMClogonewer.jpg

Following a five-day trial, jurors on Friday said Apple must pay running loyalty fees to Texas-based Personalized Media Communications (PMC). A running loyalty is generally based on the amount of sales of a product or service.

PMC originally sued Apple in 2015 for allegedly infringing seven of its patents. As part of the legal action, the company claimed Apple infringed its patent with technology including FairPlay, which is used to distribute encrypted content through the company's iTunes, App Store, and Apple Music apps.

Apple successfully challenged PMC's case at the U.S. patent office, but an appeals court reversed that decision in March 2020, opening an avenue for a trial to proceed.

Apple told Bloomberg it was disappointed with Friday's ruling and would appeal the decision.
"Cases like this, brought by companies that don't make or sell any products, stifle innovation and ultimately harm consumers," the company said in an emailed statement.
PMC is a non-practicing entity that holds a patent portfolio and generates revenue through patent litigation. When such companies employ hardball legal tactics to enforce patent rights far beyond the patent's actual value, they are often referred to as patent trolls.

The Sugarland-based company has infringement cases pending against several other tech companies including Netflix, Google, and Amazon.

Article Link: Apple Ordered to Pay $309 Million for Infringing DRM Patent
 
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svanstrom

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2002
787
1,732
🇸🇪
Use it or lose it. Bloody patent trolls.
That's a simplified truth, though.

In theory there's nothing wrong with a firm specialising in research and licensing their patents, and there's nothing wrong with specialised firms investing in buying patents; but there needs to be a system for punishing those that intentionally do nothing but play with patents just to litigate. Not to help legitimate patent owners, but to intentionally just go for maximum damage/reward by a form of strategic and legal blackmail.

It's all about intent…
 
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LeadingHeat

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2015
745
1,829
What about from here on out? Do they need to change their DRM technology? Will they pay a fee based on each movie/song they sell because there’s no other way around it? I wish the article were a little more clear on how/why they infringed this patent
 
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obamtl

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2010
416
633
What sometimes pisses me off about some of these patents is that they're not even functional technology or fully developed methodology, but sometimes just ideas. Ideas are cheap, implementation is gold. There needs to be a higher standard for what counts as patents, and it should be to protect those who do the hard work to turn an idea into something implementable.
 
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kennyt72

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2011
138
570
Chelsea, London, England
What sometimes pisses me off about some of these patents is that they're not even functional technology or fully developed methodology, but sometimes just ideas. Ideas are cheap, implementation is gold. There needs to be a higher standard for what counts as patents, and it should be to protect those who do the hard work to turn an idea into something implementable.
But without the idea those who "do the hard work" would just be sitting about with nothing to do.
 
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chris1958

macrumors member
Jan 9, 2018
75
62
What sometimes pisses me off about some of these patents is that they're not even functional technology or fully developed methodology, but sometimes just ideas. Ideas are cheap, implementation is gold. There needs to be a higher standard for what counts as patents, and it should be to protect those who do the hard work to turn an idea into something implementable.
Wasn't it Apple, who fought those ridiculous patent claims against Samsung
And isn't it Apple, who contirbute hardly anything to standards but always complains about firms, who worked hard to create those standards and now want to get something back for their efforts.
 
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Octopuss

macrumors regular
Oct 18, 2017
142
201
Boohoo... bad troll (100% focused on tolling) trolls "good troll" that trolls others same way just not focusing 100% on trolling.
 
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StuBeck

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2008
415
191
What about from here on out? Do they need to change their DRM technology? Will they pay a fee based on each movie/song they sell because there’s no other way around it? I wish the article were a little more clear on how/why they infringed this patent
They'll have to pay a licensing fee or change their technology to not infringe.

The real fix here is to stop issuing patents for code ideas. That would fix these issues from both sides.
 
Comment

nexesnex

macrumors regular
Sep 18, 2014
188
261
That's a simplified truth, though.

In theory there's nothing wrong with a firm specialising in research and licensing their patents, and there's nothing wrong with specialised firms investing in buying patents; but there needs to be a system for punishing those that intentionally do nothing but play with patents just to litigate. Not to help legitimate patent owners, but to intentionally just go for maximum damage/reward by a form of strategic and legal blackmail.

It's all about intent…
I agree with you. The problem with this place is that they seem to only have 6 employees... all people who are lawyers or experts by trade in the defense of patents. If it truly was a company who wanted o do right, you'd think they have a sales and licensing group, etc....
 
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MBAir2010

macrumors 68040
May 30, 2018
3,144
3,541
sunny florida
Apple told Bloomberg it was disappointed with Friday's ruling and would appeal the decision.

what was the response from the local licensing firm?
since Bloomberg news, umm "typed words formatted on media" is not reputable, is there another source?
 are bullies and i have heard several others being mistreated and had their ideas stolen from 
 
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Robert.Walter

macrumors 68020
Jul 10, 2012
2,013
2,488
That's a simplified truth, though.

In theory there's nothing wrong with a firm specialising in research and licensing their patents, and there's nothing wrong with specialised firms investing in buying patents; but there needs to be a system for punishing those that intentionally do nothing but play with patents just to litigate. Not to help legitimate patent owners, but to intentionally just go for maximum damage/reward by a form of strategic and legal blackmail.

It's all about intent…
It’s more than that, patent aggregators help to put the value into intellectual property.

Whereas a patent infringer maybe can’t be bothered to fairly license IP from a small player (this could be an individual or company) and the small parties see pursuit of protecting their IP out of reach, aggregators, whose sole purpose is to maximize the value of IP holdings, can afford to take perceived infringer scofflaws to court.

An IP holder selling to an aggregator gets value out of that infringed patent that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to get.

I get so tired of all the ignorant “patent troll” troll comments when such stories come up as these comments (from whatever motivation) basically endorse patent and IP piracy.
 
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Johnny907

macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2014
1,577
2,687
I’d feel bad for Apple if not for their long history of buying out other companies and then locking down whatever that company was selling or providing in terms of product or service without replacing it, thus denying said product or service to a user base that was already invested and reliant on it.
Sometimes they don’t even bother to buy out the company providing a service or product, instead offering essentially the exact same product or service with just enough superficial differences to avoid a lawsuit.
* cough cough NightShift cough *
If there is a company well known for their monumental d*ck moves, it is Tim Cook’s Apple, so if I’m supposed to feel bad anytime they lose a patent case like this someone has unrealistic expectations of me.
 
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Psychicbob

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2018
414
1,127
Only the creator of the patent should have the right to sue without restrictions. The onus should be on the patent troll to prove they had realistic plans and investment to do something with the patent and they lost out financially. Acting like Smaug, sitting on a pile of patents and with no intention of doing anything with them, should prevent them from taking legal action. It’s essentially a honey trap.
 
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