Court Clears Apple of Infringing on Pendrell Anti-piracy Patents

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Pendrell, the company that owns ContentGuard Holdings, took it on the chin last Friday when a Texas court ruled Apple didn't infringe on its anti-piracy patents. The ruling didn't come as a big surprise considering the same court shot down the company's cases against Google and Samsung in September.

Texas court says Apple didn't infringe on Pendrell's anti-piracy patentsTexas court says Apple didn't infringe on Pendrell's anti-piracy patents

The case against Apple was filed in 2013 by ContentGuard Holdings and claimed the iPhone and iPad maker was infringing on five of its anti-piracy patents with the copy protection used in content sold through the iTunes Store and iBookstore.

Apple wasn't able to convince the court that Pendrell's patents were invalid, according to Reuters, but was able to show that it wasn't infringing on the holding company's technology.

ContentGuard was formed in 2000 by Microsoft and Xerox as a digital rights management company, and was later sold to the patent holding company Pendrell. Time Warner also owns a stake in ContentGuard.

Considering Pendrell makes its money from patent licensing and infringement lawsuits, the court ruling has to come as a big blow. It isn't getting any money from its fight with Apple and didn't fare any better in its fight with Google and Samsung.

Pendrell's consolation is that the court didn't invalidate the patents in question. That means the holder can continue to target other companies with infringement claims, but it'll have an uphill battle considering there's now a track record of losses.

Pendrell and ContentGuard's legal team said the ruling was disappointing, but didn't say if they were planning on filing an appeal.

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Maybe Pendrell should consider a different business model considering how it's recent patent infringement lawsuits have turned out.

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Lee Dronick

A victory for sure.

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