In the first patent jury trial since the Covid-19 pandemic began, a jury awarded PanOptis $506 million in royalties for the willful infringement of five of its 4G LTE patents. This jury award is one in a long line of multi-million dollar awards against Apple for patent infringement.

History

In February 2019, PanOptis brought a lawsuit against Apple in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas, a favorable jurisdiction for willful patent infringement. Patents at issue in the case included U.S. Patent Nos. 8,019,332; 8,385,284; 8,411,557; 9,001,774; and 8,102,833. All the patents related to wireless communication technology essential to the 4G LTE wireless standard.

In the complaint, PanOptis alleged that all Apple LTE-enabled products infringed its LTE patents. The devices included all IPhones, IWatches, and IPads that operate over LTE cellular. PanOptis stated it repeatedly tried to enter into a licensing agreement with Apple to license its 4G LTE technology. However, the parties could not reach an agreement. Apple countered that the PanOptis patents were invalid. Unfortunately for Apple, the federal jury did not agree with Apple and found them guilty of willful patent infringement. Apple stated that it will appeal the verdict.

Other verdicts against Apple

This is not the first time Apple has been slapped with a multi-million dollar patent infringement verdict. As we wrote about in a previous post, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) also won a jury verdict against Apple in the amount of $837.8 million earlier this year.  

It may be a particularly bad year for Apple given that they are involved in another patent infringement lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas later this year. They are trying to overturn an earlier $503 million verdict in favor of VirnetX Holding Corp. for willful infringement of VirnetX’s patents on virtual private networks (VPN). The judge postponed the VirnetX trail, originally scheduled to begin next week, until October due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In conclusion, it is imperative to hire experienced attorneys to prosecute and defend your intellectual property. Our attorneys have successfully prosecuted several 4G LTE and 5G patents for our clients. Having multiple 4G LTE and 5G patents in your portfolio is extremely valuable in light of the PanOptis verdict. We draft our patents to stand up to extreme scrutiny. In fact, we successfully defended a client’s wireless patent against Apple in an infringement case.

Michele Lawson

Michele Lawson is a U.S. Registered Patent Attorney.