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Apple ordered to pay PanOptis $506.2M for infringing LTE patents

Credit: Apple

A Texas federal jury on Tuesday ruled that Apple must pay $506.2 million for willfully infringing on a handful of 4G LTE patents owned by PanOptis and related companies.

The complaint, first lodged with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in 2019, accused Apple of infringing on seven patents covering various 4G LTE abilities. The lawsuit named iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch as infringing devices.

In Tuesday's decision, the jury decided that Apple failed to prove that any of PanOptis' patent claims were invalid. According to Law360, it also said that Apple willfully infringed on the patents. Notably, the in-person patent jury trial was the country's first since coronavirus lockdowns began.

The $506 million is a royalty of past sales of infringing devices, with the jury finding five of the seven patents in suit were violated.

PanOptis and its related companies, including Optis Wireless Technology and Unwired Planet, are non-practicing entities. In their complaint, the companies argued that they had offered Apple a license for using the LTE-related patents, but added that negotiations fell through.

"Lawsuits like this by companies who accumulate patents simply to harass the industry only serve to stifle innovation and harm consumers," Apple said in a statement to Bloomberg. Apple pledged to appeal the decision.