Apple must pay $506 million to Optis Wireless for LTE patent infringement, jury decides

Apple has been ordered to pay $506 million for infringing upon patents held by PanOptis and related companies, according to a court ruling today. As Law360 reports, the ruling comes from an Eastern District of Texas federal jury. Notably, this was the first in-person jury trial over patents since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The lawsuit centered around a handful of Optis Wireless patents, all of which related to the use of LTE cellular technology in the iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad. Apple had aimed to prove during the trial that it had not infringed on the technology in the patents to access LTE networks.

One of Apple’s key arguments was that you could look at the guts of an iPhone to learn that it had not infringed on the patents in question. Apple had argued that the iPhone’s compatibility with LTE — like other smartphones on the market – was not evidence of infringement.

On the flip side, Optis Wireless contended that Apple infringed on its patents and refused to enter a licensing agreement. Optis Wireless argued that it had offered Apple a “global license” for using the standard-essential patents related to LTE. This, according to the company, was in compliance with its “Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory” obligations. Optis Wireless argued that it had “repeatedly” negotiated with Apple about an agreement, but the negotiations were unsuccessful.

The patents at the heart of the infringement case:

  • “Method and Apparatus for Transmitting and Receiving Shared Control Channel Message in a Wireless Communication System Using Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access”
  • “Method for Transmitting and Receiving Control Information through PDCCH”
  • “Mobile Station Apparatus and Random Access Method”
  • “System and Method for Channel Estimation in a Delay Diversity Wireless Communication System”
  • “Method for Transmitting Uplink Signals”
  • “Mode switching between SU-MIMO and MU-MIMO.”
  • “Control channel signaling using a common signaling field for transport format and redundancy version”

Despite Apple’s argument, the jury said that Apple had failed to prove that the Optis Wireless patent claims are invalid. Therefore, Apple must pay $506,200,000 to Optis Wireless and its related companies for past sales.

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