Apple to pay $308.5M for digital rights management patent infringement
matcuz / Pixabay
Apple to pay $308.5M for digital rights management patent infringement

A jury in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas decided Friday that Apple Inc. must pay $308.5 million to Personalized Media Communications (PMC) for infringing upon a digital rights management patent.

PMC is a patent-licensing company which currently has more than 100 issued patents and pending applications. The company only licenses the patents of its founder and Chairman, John Harvey, and its licensees include companies such as Sony and Samsung.

In 2015, PMC sued Apple for infringing one of its patents associated with digital rights management. PMC alleged that Apple infringed its patent with streaming technology such as FairPlay. Apple challenged the validity of the patent, and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) determined that the patent was invalid.

However, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the board’s decision in March 2020. In February 2021, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas denied Apple’s motion for summary judgment, finding that Apple failed to show that the patent was directed to ineligible subject matter.

Late Friday, a federal jury directed Apple to pay PMC a running royalty. Apple reportedly plans to appeal the jury verdict.

In 2019, PMC also filed patent infringement suits against Google, Akamai and Netflix.