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Tuesday, September 04, 2012, 12:03 pm PT (03:03 pm ET)

Apple wins appeal, court rules 'Cover Flow' doesn't violate patents

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington sided with Apple on Tuesday, ruling features including "Cover Flow" in its OS X operating system did not infringe on patents owned by Mirror World.

The court found that Apple did not violate patents that were owned by Mirror Worlds, a company founded by Yale university computer science Professor David Gelerntner, according to Bloomberg. Mirror Worlds first sued Apple in 2008.

Tuesday's decision was yet another major comeback victory for Apple in its litigation with Mirror Worlds. Last year, Apple won a separate appeal reversing a jury reward of $625.5 million in damages, though that judge upheld the validity of the three patents Apple was accused of violating.

But this week completely tossed the jury's 2010 verdict, negating both the damages and the infringement.

"The evidence was insufficient to support the jury's finding of infringement for all of the asserted claims," the appeals court wrote in its decision.

Mirror Worlds time stream patent example


Mirror Worlds accused Apple of violating its patents with Spotlight, Time Machine and Cover Flow features in the OS X operating system for Mac. The patent holder argued that Apple's products infringed on patents related to how documents are displayed on a computer screen.

The initial complaint was filed in 2008 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Patent infringement suits are frequently filed there in hopes of a favorable outcome, which is precisely what Mirror Worlds was awarded by a jury in October of 2010. But Apple quickly appealed that ruling, setting the stage for the decision to be overturned.