Third Patent Plaintiff This Year Wins a Large Verdict from a Texas Jury

March 21, 2021

Last Friday an Eastern District of Texas jury returned a $308M verdict against Apple, having found that the tech giant infringed a single patent held by Personalized Media Communications, LLC (PMC) through the provision of its digital rights management technology, FairPlay. The PMC case against Apple (2:15-cv-01366), filed in July 2015, was stayed for a lengthy stretch in light of inter partes reviews (IPRs) of the patents-in-suit; last March the Federal Circuit revived from cancellation several of the claims of one of those patents, resulting in last week’s trial. That nearly six-year stretch spans only a fraction of this campaign, which began back in 1996—and will likely extend further, as a Federal Circuit appeal of the cancellation of other PMC claims remains pending, discovery in a Southern District of New York case against Netflix proceeds, and District Judge Rodney Gilstrap entertains posttrial motions not only in the Apple case but also in a separate case tried before him last November. That trial went the other way, producing a noninfringement verdict in favor of Alphabet (Google).

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