Court: Apple Didn’t Infringe on Mirror Worlds Patents

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Mirror Worlds: No patent win for youThe U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington upheld a lower court's finding on Tuesday when it ruled that Apple didn't infringe on patents owned by Mirror Worlds. The patent fight between the two companies started in 2008 over claims that the Cover Flow, Time Machine and Spotlight features in OS X infringe on Mirror Worlds-owned patents.
 
The Appeals Court stated, "The evidence was insufficient to support the jury's finding of infringement for all of the asserted claims," according to Bloomberg. The court also said the Mirror Worlds patents are, in fact, valid, which leaves the company open to pursue other lawsuits.
 
The case was originally filed in Eastern Texas Federal Court, which is known as a favorite venue for patent holders. The court ruled in October 2010 that Apple did infringe on the Mirror Worlds patents, and ordered the Cupertino-based company to pay US$208.5 million per patent in damages, or over $625 million.
 
Apple appealed the ruling, and at the same time managed to get its own patent on Cover Flow.
 
In April, 2011, Apple won its appeal in the case with Judge Leonard Davis ruling, "In this case, Mirror Worlds may have painted an appealing picture for the jury, but it failed to lay a solid foundation sufficient to support important elements it was required to establish under the law."
 
That 2011 ruling is what the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld on Tuesday, which brings Mirror Worlds pretty much to the end of the line in its fight with Apple.
 
Neither company has commented on the verdict.

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Mirror Worlds chose a court that's a favorite of patent trolls when it took on Apple, so it's not a big surprise the company won the trial. Once the case moved on to appeals, however, the courts weren't quite so friendly to Mirror Worlds.
 
Overturning the initial ruling, and then upholding that through a series of appeals, isn't a big surprise, either since the courts consistently said Mirror Worlds failed to show evidence to support its case. That, and Apple had a product called HyperCard that predated the Mirror Worlds patents by years and just so happened to include many of the features the little company said it owned.
 
Since the Appeals Court didn't invalidate Mirror Worlds' patents, it can still go on the hunt for other companies -- but not Apple.

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Comments

kralnor

Correct.  Apple never infringes, but everyone infringes on them.  I think they should now sue mirror worlds for infringement because they would clearly win.

John Dingler, artist

It’s not clear whether or not Apple considers HyperCard as being prior art and but, if so, could Apple choose to sue patent troll Mirror Worlds?

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