Apple fined $300 million in Optis retrial, Google infringes smart speaker patents

Apple fined $300 million in Optis retrial, Google infringes smart speaker patents

Apple then vowed to fight back and appeal the decision. The company said, “Lawsuits like this by companies who accumulate patents simply to harass the industry only serve to stifle innovation and harm consumers.” This is Apple’s way of calling out Optis as a patent troll. See Also: What’s Going Wrong at Apple These Days? Post Apple’s appeal, U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap upheld infringement claims but ordered a retrial to determine a revised payout amount for infringing five Optis patents. These five LTE patents are standards-essential and were acquired by Optis between 2014 and 2017 from Samsung, LG, and Panasonic. According to the judge, the jury failed to take into consideration “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory,” or FRAND practices required in standard-essential patent cases. All these patents are essential to 4G LTE implementation in mobile devices.

Apple was ordered to pay Optis $300 million for breaching 4G LTE patents, while Sonos was awarded a preliminary patent infringement suit against Google. If proven guilty after a thorough investigation, various Google goods, including smart speakers, Chromecast, and Pixel phones, might become paperweights. Optis vs. Apple Apple was awarded a $300 million royalty payment decision over the weekend. The corporation must now pay the money to Optis Wireless, a consortium of companies that includes PanOptis Patent Management, Optis Cellular, and Unwired Planet. The compensation is much less than the original distribution order of $506 million, which was issued precisely a year ago. Optis had sued Apple for infringing on its proprietary wireless technology, which is used in the 4G capabilities of iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.

The latest jury’s ruling in the patent dispute case deems Apple liable to pay $300 million to Optis. $300 million is by no means a small amount but for Apple, it is just a speck in its vast fortunes. Just for perspective, the Cupertino-based company earned $81.4 billion in Q2 2021 of which profits were $21.74 billion. Obviously the amount, which Apple can recover in less than two full days, is not the issue. What’s concerning for Apple is that this can set a precedent for Optis and other companies to keep coming after them. For instance, Optis also made a case against Apple for patent infringement in the High Court of England. The company seeks $7 billion in damages. But more than that, the company hopes to set a global royalty rate for all its patents. Presently, FRAND does provide a framework to carry out patent-related deals but the terms are a bit vague, which have often led to lawsuits. Some lawsuits that arose due to inadequacies in FRAND terms for standards-essential patents include.

If fined a “commercially unacceptable” amount, Apple threatened to leave the British market, according to Bloomberg. Google vs Sonos Google was also found to have infringed five patents of Sonos, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) said over the weekend. The ruling is preliminary and not set in stone but it does give Sonos an upper hand for upcoming proceedings. ITC judge Charles Bullock found some of Google’s hardware products such as smart speakers to have been derivative of the audio streaming company’s technology.

Bullock, who is the chief administrative law judge at ITC upheld Sonos’ claims relating to all five patents that the company claims were infringed. Sonos sued Google in January 2020 alleging that the search giant stole U.S. patents 9,195,258; 10,209,953; 9,219,959; 8,588,949; and 10,439,896. Sonos’ hopes to extract financial damages and block the import of Google’s smart speakers, along with other hardware products such as Chromecast and Pixel phones. See Also: Fourth Time’s the Charm: EU Probes Google Ad Tech Over Antitrust Behavior Sonos contends that Google stole the idea when both were collaborating on designing a music service for Sonos’ home speakers. Sonos had then handed over designs of its innovative wireless speakers to Google. At the time, Google was not producing speakers of any kind, and thus was not a competitor. It became one in 2016 when Google launched its own wireless smart speaker. Sonos in the lawsuit claimed the following wireless multi-room audio systems functions to have been infringed.

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