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Big Patent Awards

Recently, there have been some sizeable verdicts:

Intel Ordered to Pay $2.18 billion

According to Bloomberg, a federal jury recently found Intel infringed two of three patents owned by VLSI to the tune of $2.18 Billion. These patents have a history. The patents were originally issued to Freescale Semiconductor, and Sigmatel in 2009, 2010, and 2012, respectively. Freescale bought SigmaTel, and Freescale was in turn bought by NXP in 2015. Later these patents were all assigned to VLSI in 2019. The patents relate to inventions that increase the power and speed of processors. It appears VLSI’s only business is this patent lawsuit. The jury verdict amounts to about half of Intel’s fourth-quarter profit. Unsurprisingly, Intel intends to appeal.

Apple Ordered to Pay $308 Million.

Apple recently lost a jury trial to Personalized Media Communications and is on the hook for $308 million. The patents at issue are related to FairPlay, a DRM technology that can encrypt and decrypt digital content and software, including books, audiobooks, TV programs, movies, and music. Apple successfully challenged the validity of these patents under an inter parties review in 2017 on the grounds of anticipation and obvious. In 2020, the Federal Circuit reversed paving the way for the jury trial. According to Reuters, Personalized Media Communications (PMC) “licenses exclusively its own internally invented patents. PMC does not acquire 3rd part patents for assertion. Meaning, the label ‘Patent Troll’ can’t be attributed to PMC.” Apple, however, disagrees, “Cases like this, brought by companies that don’t make or sell any products, stifle innovation and ultimately harm consumers,” Apple said in a statement to Reuters. Not surprisingly, Apple has already appealed the ruling.

Cisco Ordered to Pay $1.9 Billion.

In the fall of 2020, a federal court ordered Cisco to pay $1.9 billion for infringing four patents belonging to Centripetal Networks, a Virginia startup. Cisco must also pay royalties to Centripetal. These patents cover technology that can detect malware encrypted inside data packets flowing through networks and technology related to threat detection. Since the ruling, Cisco has asked for a new trial, which the court denied, and is now preparing an appeal to the Federal Circuit.

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