Apple has reversed a $308.5 million fine imposed on it in a licensing lawsuit through a U.S. federal judge. It concerns a patent for the management of digital rights, Reuters writes. The lawsuit dates back to 2015.
District Judge Rodney Gilstrap stated late last week that the complaining party – Personalized Media Communications LLC (PMC) – intentionally stopped filing the application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has postponed, hoping for a bigger payout. He spoke of a deliberate delay strategy and deliberate and blatant abuse of the legal patent system.
PMC argued in 2015 that the FairPlay software used in Apple’s iTunes service and App Store to decrypt movies, music, and apps infringes the patent obtained in 2012. Last March, the jury ruled in favour of PMC and the fine was awarded.
However, the Texas court accepted Apple’s defence that PCM used delaying tactics for years that prevented Apple from enforcing the use of the patent due to unreasonable and inexplicable delay. For example, PMC would have kept its patent portfolio hidden until the industry had generally accepted the underlying technology for digital rights management.