Apple has been ordered to pay 300 million dollars in damages to the company Optis Wireless for patent infringement. In the space of a year, this is the third sanction against the American group for this kind of infraction.
After a conviction in October 2020 and a payment of $503 million to VirtnetX, then last March a fine of $308.5 million to the company PMC, there's a new penalty for patent infringement for Apple. This time, it concerns technologies related to 4G LTE in the group's various devices. Apple refutes the court's decision and has appealed.
The complaint comes from a group of "patent trolls" called Optis Wireless. Patent trolls are legal companies whose business is to negotiate licenses or sue companies which are not inclined to negotiate with them.
To defend itself, Apple is invoking a brake on innovation that ultimately affects consumers. In a statement, the company co-founded by Steve Jobs said that "Optis does not make any products and its only business is to sue companies using the patents it accumulates. We will continue to defend ourselves against their attempts to obtain unreasonable payments."
A financial strategy
Companies that own a technology patent have the right to prohibit any third party from using their innovation. Questions are now being raised about their activities. For example, Optis bought 4G LTE technologies from Panasonic, LG, and Samsung in order to attack companies using these innovations.
Optis is also suing Apple in the High Court of England to set a global royalty rate for its patents. To better understand, the company claims an amount to be paid on each device for the use of its patents. In response to its attacks, Apple has threatened to withdraw from the UK, should the judges force it to pay "commercially unacceptable" amounts, according to Bloomberg.