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Apple Challenging $625M Fine for Patent Infringement

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By Jason Beahm on October 06, 2010 1:09 PM

A federal jury in Tyler, Texas, returned a verdict in a patent infringement case against Apple for $625 million, but the company isn't about to just give up. Instead Apple has filed an emergency motion asking the judge to stay the verdict due to outstanding issues with the patents Apple was found to have willfully infringed upon.

Apple was sued by David Gelernter, a Yale computer science professor and owner of Mirror Worlds, for infringing three patents used for computers, iPods and iPhones. Apple argues that not only is the verdict incorrect, but that it also amounts to "triple dipping," because it awards the full judgment for each patent.

Naturally, those with Mirror Worlds disagree and strongly contend that the verdict should stand. "The verdict is a clear victory for David and his visionary ideas," said Joseph Diamante, a lawyer for Mirror Worlds. Apple has not commented on the $625M fine.

If the patent infringement judgment does in fact stand, it is one of the largest valued patent verdicts in United States history. The New York Times reports that the case was heard in the Eastern District of Texas, which is popular among plaintiffs in patent cases because the jurisdiction has a reputation for returning big jury awards.

According to patent expert John F. Duffy, a professor at George Washington University Law School, it is noteworthy that the jury found that Apple willfully infringed the patents. Juries typically find that patent infringement is unintentional. "That's a little jarring," he said.

Stay tuned on this one because the judge will likely rule quickly on the case. No matter what the decision is, expect that Apple will continue to fight to decision by appeal or seek a settlement.

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