US District Court Judge Rodney Gilstrap has tossed the $506 million damages awarded to Optis in the case last year and orders fresh trial
The US District Court has tossed aside the $506 million damages awarded to Optis Wireless by a Texas court in a patent infringement case last year.
Judge Rodney Gilstrap said the jury should have been allowed to consider whether the royalty demand was consistent with a requirement that standard-essential patents be licensed on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory," (FRAND) terms.
Federal Judge Rodney Gilstrap ruled that Apple should be allowed to argue whether the royalty demands were fair.
Apple had lost a lawsuit over LTE patents filed by Optis Wireless last summer, resulting in damages of $506 million.
The lawsuit centered around some Optis Wireless patents relating to the use of LTE cellular technology in the iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad.
Optis had claimed that Apple infringed on its LTE patents and also refused to sign a licensing agreement. Among other points, Apple said looking inside its hardware proved that it did not infringe the said patents. In the end, the jury voted that Apple had failed to prove that the Optis claims were invalid.
Apple had taken a stand that such lawsuits by companies who accumulate patents simply to harass the industry only serve to stifle innovation and harm consumers.
While Apple got the breather it had asked for and has now won a new trial, it is not yet completely out of the woods since Judge Gilstrap did not throw out the liability finding. Only Apple can expect a fair trial and argue its case afresh.