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Court orders Apple to pay OPTi $21.7m in patent suit

updated 01:55 pm EST, Fri December 4, 2009

Infringement suit reaches final judgment

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has issued a final judgment in the patent infringement lawsuit between OPTi and Apple, ordering the Mac maker to pay a total of $21.7 million in damages and pre-judgment interest. The patents involve technology related to "predictive snooping" of cache memory for relaying information between a CPU and other components.

Although Apple was found to be guilty of violating the patent claims, the court did not view the actions as willful infringement. The decision potentially saves Apple from having to pay significantly higher damages, including reimbursement of attorney fees.

OPTi ceased its manufacturing and distribution operations several years ago. The company intends to continue pursuing patent infringement litigation and establishing licensing agreements for its intellectual property.

by MacNN Staff



  1. fizzy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple infringement?

    Since Intel makes the processors, and various other companies make the other chips including RAM, and especially since Intel wrote the instructions in the processor that caches memory, how is this Apple's infringement?

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A line...

    There's a line between copying unique work & claiming it is your own, and coincidentally developing something unknowing of the existence of such prior or simultaneous efforts. I see no need for apple to pay anything as they did not cross the line into morally & legally fraudulent or evasive territory.

    - A

  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Doesn't matter

    In infringement cases, the issue of whether or not you were infringing on someone else's intellectual property has nothing to do with whether you intended to do so. Basically, it's assumed that you should have done your homework and looked for relevant patents. The issue of intent only arises when assessing the penalty; in the U.S., at least, you pay a much more severe penalty if you knew you were using someone else's IP illegally. You still pay a penalty, though, if you did it accidentally. (And if you think about it, such a mechanism is really kind of a necessity if you're going to have IP at all -- otherwise, anyone could just claim that they didn't know about the infringement in advance to get off scot free.)

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: A line

    I see no need for apple to pay anything as they did not cross the line into morally & legally fraudulent or evasive territory.

    No need? Yes, you're right. Apple should just ignore the court order. What's the deal with courts, anyway? Like they have some power to tell people what they can and can't do...

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Predictive snooping = software?

    Sorry but if you go to Marshall Texas, you have a worthless patent and are trolling for free money. Case after case show that.

    BUT. If Apple used software owned by another, OK. What tweeks me is hardware designs used by Intel, Samsung, etc to make IC units but the patent holder goes after Apple for its use.....

    Apple buys silicon, which is hardware which should already have the cost of design in the price. But troll patent holders only care for the money. Plus, usually they are shell companies that bought the patent on the cheap from someone who did the work.

    Sorry, venting on the crazy people in the world that s**** it up for the rest of us.

    Just a thought,

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