It always seems that the big dogs are embroiled in one big, never ending, infinite loop of suing and counter suing which never gets resolved. But as soon as there is a lawsuit involving a smaller competitor, the bigger corporations usually win. But that is not always the case. Apple has just lost to Personal Audio LLC after a Federal jury in Texas ruled that it had infringed the patents held by the latter. Apple has had to pay out US$8 million for the mis-step.
Bloomberg.com - Personal Audio, a patent licensing company with an office in Beaumont, Texas, sued Apple in 2009 for $84 million in damages, claiming infringement of two patents. The jury today found that the patents were infringed, and upheld their validity, according to Personal Audio’s lawyer, Ron Schutz of Robins Kaplan in Minneapolis.
The inventions cover an audio player that can receive navigable playlists and can skip forward or backward through the downloaded list. Apple contended that it wasn’t using the inventions, and that the patents were invalid.
Ironically though, the iPod has brought in close to US$8.3 billion in sales last year, so the amount Apple is being forced to pay out seems like a might smart investment. You can find more on the news story here.