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Apple ordered to pay over $308 million over FairPlay DRM patent infringement

Back in 2015, Personalised Media Communications (PMC) accused Apple of infringing on seven of its patents. After years of back and forth legal filings, a judge has finally ruled on the case, ordering Apple to pay $308.5 million in damages. 

Out of the seven patents, a jury found that Apple had indeed used one without permission. Specifically, the patent for a “method of decrypting programming at a receiver station”. This was found to have been used by Apple as part of its FairPlay DRM, which is used across the App Store, Apple Music and iTunes.

Previously, Apple had challenged the validity of a few of PMC’s patents, but an appeals board reversed the decision. All of that led to this year’s trial, which ended with a judge ordering Apple to pay $308 million for patent infringement. Apple has also been ordered to pay a royalty fee for whenever PMC’s patent is used in one of its products.

As pointed out by ZDnet, PMC also attempted to sue Google for patent infringement, but that case was lost at trial. Currently, PMC is also in a legal battle with Netflix.

KitGuru Says: Apple has lost a couple of major lawsuits over the last year, including a massive $800 million lawsuit over WiFi chips in 2020. Still, given how successful Apple continues to be, these pay-outs aren’t going to make much of a dent in the bottom line. 

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