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Jury finds Apple did not infringe on 'patent troll' WiLAN's wireless tech

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
A Texas jury on Wednesday found Apple, the lone holdout in a patent infringement case asserted by WiLAN, to not have infringed on a wireless technology property owned by the patent holdings company, capping off a two-year trial.

Wi-LAN


WiLAN first brought its case against Apple and a number of other large tech firms in 2011, claiming infringement of U.S Patents No. RE37,802 and No. 5,282,222 relating cellular wireless technologies.

As noted by AllThingsD, aside from Apple, all defendants signed license and settlement agreements to resolve the dispute, including Alcatel-Lucent, Dell, Hewlett Packard and HTC, among others.

With Apple being the only company standing, WiLAN proceeded with a jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Tyler, which has a history of siding with plaintiffs in patent cases.

Just over one week after WiLAN's trial against Apple began on Oct. 15, the jury found no infringement and invalidated two claims from the '802 patent. WiLAN was seeking $248 million in damages.

"WiLAN is disappointed with the jury's decision and is currently reviewing its options with trial counsel, McKool Smith," WiLAN said in a litigation update posted to its website. "WiLAN does not believe previous license agreements signed related to the patents are negatively impacted by this decision."

WiLAN was founded in 1992 as a company rooted in developing and commercializing wireless technology. In 2006, after "realizing the value that its intellectual property brought to industry," the firm transformed into a patent holdings entity and holds a large number of properties which are used in litigation against big-name corporations.

In 2007, Wi-LAN sued Apple over its use of Wi-Fi in certain product. The so-called "patent troll" again brought claims against Apple in 2010, claiming infringement of patented Bluetooth technology.
post #2 of 20
Yes, don't feed the trolls.
post #3 of 20
It's too bad we don't have tort reform that calls for the Plaintiff to pay the Defenses lawyer bills! Oh well, Apple could always sue them for their defense money back, I guess... lol

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #4 of 20
All those that settled probably have no recourse because their licensing agreements more than likely uphold the terms even if the patents are invalidated.
post #5 of 20
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
Just over one week after WiLAN's trial against Apple began on Oct. 15, the jury found no infringement and invalidated two claims from the '802 patent. WiLAN was seeking $248 million in damages.

 

Right, so… WiLAN now has to pay Apple $248 million in reparations, right? RIGHT?!

post #6 of 20

Oh my gosh! An East Texas jury _didn't_ give an award to a patent troll?

 

Is this the apocalypse? Is the sky on fire?

post #7 of 20
Texas jury? Really. Wow. WiLAN must be really a patent troll company.
post #8 of 20
If I was WiLAN, I'd be disappointed with the jury's decision, too!!!
HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!!!

Correction:
HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Right, so… WiLAN now has to pay Apple $248 million in reparations, right? RIGHT?!

There really should be repercussions for these type of actions so trolls think twice. Meanwhile some one should do something about certain jurisdictions that seem to be incapable of following the law as often as they fail to do. It doesn't pass the smell test.
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post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

There really should be repercussions for these type of actions so trolls think twice. Meanwhile some one should do something about certain jurisdictions that seem to be incapable of following the law as often as they fail to do. It doesn't pass the smell test.

Good timing on the comment...
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/10/its-finally-here-a-bill-to-end-patent-trolling/
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Good timing on the comment...
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/10/its-finally-here-a-bill-to-end-patent-trolling/

I hadn't got to Ars today yet, thanks for the link. It's my bed time read of choice. No mention of Texas though, you got me excited there for a minute. I have a mental picture of Clint rounding up a bunch of East Texas judges with a rope and dragging through the dust with Sergio Leone's film track music playing ...
Edited by digitalclips - 10/23/13 at 3:12pm
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post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

If I was WiLAN, I'd be disappointed with the jury's decision, too!!!
HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!!!

Correction:
HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nelson is so much more succinct ...

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post #13 of 20
The sad thing here is people calling WiLan trolls. They actually had some developmental experience here and only changed to a licensing model after they decided it was an easier avenue to follow. It isn't like they went out and bought the license on the open market for the sole purpose of suing people.

Now the good thing here is that their claims where apparently so thin that even a liberal interpretation of the laws with respect to patents didn't cover their game. This is really a huge win for Apple as there must have been big holes in these patents to have WiLan so soundly defeated in a trial jury like this. Either that or there are a lot of Apple users in east Texas.

Now the real problem, how much did this cost Apple? Chump change for Apple but it would have also been chump change for many of the other companies that caved. In the end you have to praise Apple for sticking with it.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

There really should be repercussions for these type of actions so trolls think twice.
You say that but you really have to look at this form the perspective of a small company. Especially if you are in an industry that often sees technology stolen by more powerful corporations. Remember this isn't a company that ran around looking of IP to buy just so they could sue somebody.

I know this might surprise some but a lot of corporations are not so respectable or ethical when it comes to where they get their technology from. When you are a little guy on the playing field and your competition is a bunch of over grown line backers it is easy to get ran over and abused.
Quote:
Meanwhile some one should do something about certain jurisdictions that seem to be incapable of following the law as often as they fail to do.
You assume here that the law and more so the patents are clear and non conflicting. Many of the decisions handed down in Texas are the result of doing exactly what patents are suppose to do, that is protect the owner of the patent. If the patents are valid (often a big IF) then it is the duty of the Jury or court to protect the legal patent holder. That is the whole reason for the patent system, to protect the patent owner not the user of the product.
Quote:
It doesn't pass the smell test.
Well I can't say cleanly what your post smells like but you should be happy that Apple won this one. At least for now, I'm sure appeals are on the way.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As noted by AllThingsD, aside from Apple, all defendants signed license and settlement agreements to resolve the dispute, including Alcatel-Lucent, Dell, Hewlett Packard and HTC, among others.

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

You say that but you really have to look at this form the perspective of a small company. Especially if you are in an industry that often sees technology stolen by more powerful corporations. Remember this isn't a company that ran around looking of IP to buy just so they could sue somebody.

I know this might surprise some but a lot of corporations are not so respectable or ethical when it comes to where they get their technology from. When you are a little guy on the playing field and your competition is a bunch of over grown line backers it is easy to get ran over and abused.
You assume here that the law and more so the patents are clear and non conflicting. Many of the decisions handed down in Texas are the result of doing exactly what patents are suppose to do, that is protect the owner of the patent. If the patents are valid (often a big IF) then it is the duty of the Jury or court to protect the legal patent holder. That is the whole reason for the patent system, to protect the patent owner not the user of the product.
Well I can't say cleanly what your post smells like but you should be happy that Apple won this one. At least for now, I'm sure appeals are on the way.

I'm sorry you felt the need to resort to that last line. The idiom is a commonly used in the way i used it, the way you did... no so much.

Still I am glad to read the bi partisan reaction seems to be positive to the new bill being prosed (which i didn't know about when I wrote my comments) that Gatorguy linked above . Perhaps you need to take up your points with them as you obviously disagree with most of the bill.
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post #17 of 20

Their lawyer's first name is McKool? Really?

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Nelson is so much more succinct ...

Wait, I'm not done!

 

HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Wait, I'm not done!

HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok you win 1wink.gif
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post #20 of 20
In fairness, Wi-LAN isn't a typical patent troll. They were pioneers in wireless, did basic research and sold their own hardware, but couldn't compete with multinationals when wifi went "wide" as they say in Hollywood.
At that time they decided to continue as a patent licensing entity. Perhaps a troll, perhaps not.
Just because East Texas jurors invalidate a patent, doesn't mean it is no longer valid, nor does it make their decision any more reasonable than any other decision from that court, even if this time it is good for Apple.
Time will tell, but Wi-Lan's founders developed technology and registered some seminal patents in the field.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiLAN

Disclosure: Hold Wi-LAN shares that haven't been worth the cost of dumping them since the company stopped producing hardware. Long, long time Apple fan, holding many more Apple shares that have added substantially to my financial health!
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