On Aug 21, A federal jury in Marshall, Texas, ordered Apple to pay Optis a lump sum of $300 million for infringing five patents related to the 4G LTE cellular standard. Optis had accused Apple of refusing to pay a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) royalty for using LTE technology in its iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The jury determined that Apple should compensate Optis for damages resulting from infringement between February 2019 and August 2020. This decision follows a previous trial in which a jury awarded Optis $506.2 million, but the verdict was later overturned, leading to the retrial (Link 1). On Dec 21, Apple won a significant victory in its ongoing patent dispute with Optis Cellular Technology. The Court of Appeal in London ruled in favor of Apple, stating that it did not infringe Optis’ patent for technology supporting continued connectivity during mobile phone calls. While the court rejected Apple’s claim that the patent was invalid, it accepted the company’s argument that the patent was not essential to a communications standard. This decision follows a series of patent trials between the two companies. The High Court also ruled in favor of Apple in another trial, finding Optis’ family of patents invalid. However, Optis was successful in two other trials, leaving Apple with the choice of accepting a temporary sales ban or agreeing to future patent licensing terms to be determined by the High Court. The Court of Appeal judgment specifically relates to a patent involving the handover process between different radio access technologies (Link 2). On June 22, Optis, the patent owner, achieved partial success in the case against Apple. They prevailed in two trials involving patents EP2187549 and EP2690810, both related to a “radio communication device and response signal spreading method.” These patents were deemed valid and standard-essential in an amended form. However, Optis also had a former LG patent declared invalid in one trial. The current trial, labeled Trial E, is specifically focused on the FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) injunction. If Optis succeeds, Apple would be required to take a global portfolio license at the determined FRAND royalty rate to avoid the enforcement of the injunction. Notably, the technical merits of the case are established based on a UK patent (typically the UK part of a European Patent Office grant), and the injunction would only apply to the UK market (Link 3). On June 23, Apple and Optis have been involved in a legal battle over Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) since 2019. In a recent judgment by Mr. Justice Marcus Smith, the court determined the terms of a FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) license for Optis’ portfolio. The court set a lump sum of US$5.13 million per year as the FRAND license fee for Apple, covering over 60% of Optis’ portfolio. The judgment also addressed issues of interest on past licensing fees and concluded that compound interest of 5% per annum was appropriate. The judgment discussed the valuation of the portfolio, criticized the parties’ approaches, and considered the use of comparable licenses. It determined the value of the portfolio to Apple at US$8.235 million per year, ultimately leading to the US$5.13 million FRAND license fee. The judgment clarified the question of whether the license should be ad valorem, per unit, or a lump sum, with the court finding a lump sum license specific to Apple as non-discriminatory. The judgment also addressed allegations of abuse of dominance and hold-out, ruling that Optis did not abuse a dominant position and that Apple did not engage in illegitimate hold-out. The outcome of the consequential hearing and the release of a less redacted judgment is awaited (Link 4)  


In a long-running dispute between Apple Inc and Optis Cellular Technology LLC, London’s Court of Appeal has ruled that Apple infringed two telecommunications patents used in its devices, including iPhones and iPads. The lawsuit, filed by Optis in 2019, claims that Apple used patents that are essential to certain technological standards, such as 4G. The Court of Appeal’s ruling dismisses Apple’s appeal and upholds Optis’ claims of patent infringement.
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