Jury Verdict: Apple Owes $308.5M for Patent Infringement

On Friday, a jury in the Eastern District of Texas issued a verdict ordering Apple to pay $308.5 million to patent license and assertion entity Personalized Media Communications, finding that Apple infringed the patent-in-suit U.S. Patent No. 8,191,091 (the ’091 patent), relating to digital rights management.

Personalized Media Communications (PMC) sued Apple in 2015 alleging that Apple infringed seven of its patents, which Apple successfully challenged before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), but the Federal Circuit reversed the PTAB’s decision in March 2020, bringing the lawsuit to trial. Specifically, Apple was sued over its FairPlay technology, which is used to distribute encrypted content from iTunes, Apple Music, and its App Store. The ’091 patent application was filed in 1995 and granted in 2012, which is approximately 10 years after iTunes was introduced.

The jury found that based on the evidence, Apple must compensate PMC with $308,488,108.00 as a running royalty.

“Cases like this, brought by companies that don’t make or sell any products, stifle innovation and ultimately harm consumers,” Apple said in a statement to Reuters. Reportedly, Apple plans to appeal the verdict.

A Docket Alarm search also indicates that PMC has patent infringement suits against Amazon, Netflix, and Google for patents that relate to adaptive video streaming.

Apple is represented by Gillam & Smith LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP. PMC is represented by Goodwin Procter LLP and Capshaw DeRieux LLP.