Sony, Nokia proxy company awarded $3 million in latest round of patent battles with Apple

Posted:
in iPhone
Another long-term Apple legal battle with a patent holding company has concluded its latest step, with a jury ruling that Apple has violated ring-silencing patents, granting a $3 million damages award to proxy company MobileMedia Ideas.




MobileMedia filed suit originally in 2010 over 14 patents, with a trial in 2012 finding that Apple infringed upon three of MobileMedia's patents. After a long back-and-forth following the initial judgement, Wednesday's $3 million award is dramatically cut from the $18 million demand that MobileMedia was seeking.

The six-year battle and subsequent award ultimately focused on MobileMedia-owned patent RE39,231. The patent, originally owned by Sony and issued in 1999, spans operations mandating that "unnecessary noises" as a result of incoming messages or calls be silenced during certain user actions or as a result of user operations with the phone.

Patent holding company MobileMedia is owned by video codec licensing group MPEG-LA, with partial ownership stakes held by Sony and Nokia.

MobileMedia Ideas holds more than 300 patents generally related to a wide variety of consumer electronics features. The company announced in 2010 it would license patents related to "smartphones, mobile phones, and other portable devices including personal computers, laptops, notebooks, personal media players, e-book readers, cameras, and hand-held game consoles."

Neither MobileMedia nor Apple have any comment on the ruling. Apple is expected to appeal the verdict.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    The iPhoney manufacturers sued Apple?
  • Reply 2 of 11
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,384member
    cali said:
    The iPhoney manufacturers sued Apple?
    MPEG-LA makes a device called the iPhoney?
  • Reply 3 of 11
    That patent is one of the dumbest things I have ever read.  How an idiot at the patent office granted a patent on this is quite unbelievable.  We need patent overhaul, and we need it soon.
    nolamacguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    unless any of their implementation (code) wound up inside of iOS, this is further proof that software patents are bogus and need to go away. Ideas shouldn't be patentable, only implementations. Thus no to "flying car", yes to "anti-grav engine that works like this". 

    code is speech and copyright protects it. you can't copy mine but you can come up with and write your own. just like, say, spy novels. 
    edited September 2016 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,411member
    ...didn't hear that coming.
    iqatedowatto_cobraxzu
  • Reply 6 of 11
    Apple has sourced their digital cameras for the iPhone from Sony for a number of years. It's time to drop Sony as a component supplier. 

    Perhaps Sony is upset with Apple turning to LG Innotek for the iPhone camera. The image sensor, however, is still a Sony product. 

    Not much can be done about Nokia as they don't build any iPhone component(s).

    3 million is a blip compared to Apple's profits, but the infringement suit would seem pretty lame and without merit unless Apple did steal implementation process from Sony and/or Nokia. It's doubtful that this would be the case and I would expect Apple to prevail. 
  • Reply 7 of 11
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,736member
    Apple has sourced their digital cameras for the iPhone from Sony for a number of years. It's time to drop Sony as a component supplier. 

    Perhaps Sony is upset with Apple turning to LG Innotek for the iPhone camera. The image sensor, however, is still a Sony product. 

    Not much can be done about Nokia as they don't build any iPhone component(s).

    3 million is a blip compared to Apple's profits, but the infringement suit would seem pretty lame and without merit unless Apple did steal implementation process from Sony and/or Nokia. It's doubtful that this would be the case and I would expect Apple to prevail. 
    The last time I read into the subject, Sony made the best iPhone suitable image sensors on the market by a margin. To give that up, and all of the iPhone camera plaudits, for the the sake of an unrelated $3m patent dispute would seem not only petty, but self-defeating.  It's nothing.
    jfanning
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Apple has sourced their digital cameras for the iPhone from Sony for a number of years. It's time to drop Sony as a component supplier. 

    Perhaps Sony is upset with Apple turning to LG Innotek for the iPhone camera. The image sensor, however, is still a Sony product. 

    Not much can be done about Nokia as they don't build any iPhone component(s).

    3 million is a blip compared to Apple's profits, but the infringement suit would seem pretty lame and without merit unless Apple did steal implementation process from Sony and/or Nokia. It's doubtful that this would be the case and I would expect Apple to prevail. 
    Sony owns a whole 5% of this organisation, they will received a whole $150k less the lawyers cut, I don't think they are in this for the money

    Nokia owns a whole 5% of this organisation.  Of course you will remember that Nokia owns a metric tonne of patents in the mobile arena, they are meant to be receiving 8 euro a phone from Apple for licencing payments.

    So for Nokia/Sony owning a combined 10%, why are you naming them, surely this is all MPEG-LA's doing?
    gatorguy
  • Reply 9 of 11
    Ring silencing patent, FFS has the world gone made. What would Heinrich Hertz make of all this, he was the first to test the implications of Maxwell's EM equations and transmitted a radio signal across his laboratory, once he proved the proof of concept, he was done and left it to Marconi to turn it into something. Same with the guy who invented the telegraph, Joseph Henry, he had a one mile telegraph built from the university to his home so he could let his wife know when he was coming home for lunch, he wasn't interested in patenting it, even wikipedia credits Samuel Morse as the inventor which was impossible because he didn't know enough science to make it work.
    xzu
  • Reply 10 of 11
    xzuxzu Posts: 139member
    You can probably find 3 million dollars in between the seat cushions in Apple headquarters waiting room. Who am I kidding, the couch is probably manufactured to the highest standards out of alooomaineeeeum. Nonetheless, a pittance that is probably dwarfed by the legal fees.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    Maybe you can't beat them, but make them pay it all to the lawyers.
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