DRM Patent Claim Against Deemed Unenforceable, in Major Legal Win For Apple

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Apple won a ruling in a patent-infringement trial on Friday, meaning a US$308.5 million case has been dismissed. A Personalized Media Communication patent related to digital rights management (DRM) was deemed unenforceable, Bloomberg News reported.

Apple Opponent’s Patent Delays ‘Unreasonable’

The Apple product in question was its FairPlay software. This is used to distribute encrypted media via iTunes, the App Store, and Apple Music. It launched in 2003.

U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap in Texas found that Personalized Media delayed its application to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in a bid to claim more money at a later date. The patents involved go back as far as the 1980s. At that point, patents lasted 17 years, this changed to 20 in 1995. They also include many dated in the 1990s, but then there was a gap until it Personalized Media had 101 issued from 2010 onwards.

“The course of conduct undertaken by PMC constitutes an unreasonable delay and an abuse of the statutory patent system,” according to the judge. He highlighted internal documents that declared that patents wouldn’t be issued used until “infringement becomes widespread in an industry.”


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