Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Apple dodges $625m patent infringement damages award
A US District Court judge in Texas has thrown out what would have been a record $625.5m damages award against Apple in a patent infringement case involving a document management and display system. Judge Leonard Davis overturned the jury's finding against Apple in the case filed by a company called Mirror Worlds in March 2008. Mirror Worlds said several features in Apple's Mac computers, iPhones and iPods infringed patents held by the company. The technologies at issue were Cover Flow, which lets users flip through album covers and other content; Time Machine, which performs automatic backups; and Spotlight, which is software for searching computer hard drives, according to Australian reports. In October last year, a jury found Apple had infringed three patents and awarded $208.5m in damages for each patent. But Apple asked the court to postpone the award, saying there were several issues to be addressed, including the way the damages were calculated. Judge Davis vacated the damages award, saying that, apart from the sufficiency of evidence regarding infringement, there was insufficient evidence to support the jury's $208.5m damages award.