Apple Fined $308.5 Million For Infringement Of DRM Patent

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Apple PMC Lawsuit

Following the trail of lawsuits faced by Apple, from the lawsuit for not including chargers with iPhone 12, to the lawsuit by consumer advocacy group in Europe for intentionally throttling older iPhones in Italy. The tech giant seems to be under a lot of pressure from the law. 

In a new case as reported by Bloomberg, Apple has been ordered to make a payment of $308.5 million to Personalized Media Communications (PMC). This order was made after a federal jury in Texas found that the company had infringed on a technology patent related to digital rights management (DRM). This decision was made on Friday after a five-day trial. 

Personalized Media Communications sued Apple for the use of its FairPlay technology for the distribution of encrypted content from iTunes, Apple Music, and its App Store. 

This lawsuit struggle can be traced back to 2015 when PMC first sued Apple for allegedly infringing seven of its patents. However, Apple successfully challenged the Personalized Media Communications case at the U.S. Patent office. But PMC appealed to the court March last year and reversed the board’s decision that certain patent claims were invalid.

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Apple’s Response To The Lawsuit

Apple in a comment to Bloomberg said it was “disappointed with the ruling and would appeal.” “Cases like this, brought by companies that don’t make or sell any products, stifle innovation and ultimately harm consumers,” said Apple in its statement. 

PMC is a non-practicing entity, which means the company just files patents but doesn’t use them. Personalized Media Communications has dozens of patents and generates revenues through patent litigation. 

Reuters notes that Sugarland, Texas-based PMC also has infringement cases pending against Netflix, Google, and Amazon. Google and YouTube recently won a patent trial by PMC and the case against Netflix is pending in New York.

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