Apple ordered to pay $85M in damages following retrial of WiLan patent infringement case

A jury in San Diego, California has ruled that Apple must pay WiLan a total of $85 million for patent infringement, as reported by Bloomberg. This was a retrial of a case from last year in which WiLan won $145 million, a ruling that was set aside by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw.

The two patents at the heart of this infringement case cover ways to make phone calls and simultaneously download data. One is for a “method and apparatus for bandwidth request protocols in a wireless communication system,” while the other is for “adaptive call admission control for use in a wireless communication system.”

Last year, WiLan, which is a Quarterhill company, was awarded $145 million in its patent infringement suit against Apple. Apple argued that WiLan had used an incorrect method to determine damages based on iPhone sales, an argument with which Judge Sabraw agreed, prompting him to set aside the ruling. WiLan was told to accept a recalculated amount of $10 million, or hold a new trial. It opted for the latter of the two options.

WiLan was founded in 1992 with a focus on developing wireless technology, but in 2006 the company shifted its strategy to become a patent holdings entity. The company describes itself as “one of the most successful patent licensing companies in the wold,” with the goal of helping “companies unlock the value of intellectual property by managing and licensing their patent portfolios.”

As Bloomberg points out, licensing accounted for “more than half of Quarterhill’s $107.6 million in sales in the first nine months” of 2018.

WiLan sued Apple in 2014, alleging that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 infringed upon the aforementioned patents. Apple argued that WiLan did not currently assess the value of the technology in its iPhones, and that WiLan had not provided enough evidence to the jury in the case.

What comes next in this trial remains to be seen, but for now, Apple is on the hook for $85 million.

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