Busy Week for Apple: Hit by $145 Million Jury Verdict & Reaches $1 Trillion Company Mark

Apple Inc. was hit hard with a $145 million jury verdict for a patent infringement lawsuit recently. But before the sting of the loss could really be noticed, the company became the first publicly-traded company in the United States with a value of $1 trillion or more. It is no exaggeration to say that Apple had a really busy week.

Details of the Patent Infringement Case Loss

On Wednesday, August 1st, 2018, Apple Inc. lost a patent infringement lawsuit when the jury returned a $145 million verdict against it in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The technology at issue was related to many of Apple’s popular iPhone models.

A California jury found that Apple infringed on voice over LTE wireless communication technology (VoLTE), which supports voice calls on an LTE network. The technology is patented and owned by WiLAN, a Canadian technology company. The infringement case hinged on two of WiLAN patents covering technology for various iPhone 6 and 7 models.

The plaintiff, WiLAN, alleged that Apple’s use of the LTE technology was in violation of 35 U.S. Code Section 271. This particular code allows someone to bring a patent infringement lawsuit against someone who is making, using, or selling their patented invention without their permission. In its lawsuit, WiLAN sought damages for Apple’s willful infringement of one or more claims of the patents, while also seeking to recover attorney fees.

At trial, Apple was represented by DLA Piper. WiLAN was represented by McKool Smith. The jury deliberated for approximately one and a half hours before awarding WiLAN $145 million in damages. The jury found that Apple infringed WiLANS’s 8,457,145 patent and its 8,537,757 patent. Specifically, the ‘145 patent relates to wireless communication systems, and to a method and apparatus of bandwidth request/grant protocols in a broadband wireless communication system. The ‘757 patent relates to communication systems and to a system and method for implementing adaptive call admission control in such systems.

$1 Trillion Company Value Helps Soothe the Verdict’s Sting

Notably, the $145 million jury verdict comes at a seemingly high point for Apple Inc., which on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 was valued and named as the first publicly traded U.S. $1 trillion company. To put the matter into perspective, the verdict amount amounts to 0.000145% of Apple’s total net worth. The news also comes after a relatively strong third quarter earnings report for Apple, thanks in no small part to its iPhone products.

Following the decision, Presiding Judge Dana M. Sabraw directed both parties to mediation prior to submitting post-trial motions. A joint status report is should be finished on Friday, August 10th, 2018.

Do you have any pressing questions about this article or intellectual property matters that concern you or your business? Nelson Rivera of JRG Attorneys at Law can help you. As a Monterey County intellectual property attorney with nearly 10 years of legal experience, Mr. Rivera is uniquely poised to assist you with any case, claim, or concern. Call (831) 228-5619 or contact our law firm online to learn more.

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