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Apple, LG cleared of Alcatel-Lucent patent infringement

updated 08:07 pm EST, Thu December 13, 2012

License fee covered by industry-wide pool, judge rules

A lawsuit against Apple and LG over alleged infringement of video codec patents found both companies not guilty of infringing on IP held by Alcatel-Lucent, with the judge saying that both companies had properly licensed the patents. Alcatel-Lucent had been seeking over $172 million in damages from Apple's alleged infringement of three patents, and $9.1 million from LG over two other patents, all related to video codec usage. The case had been in litigation for almost two years, and a federal jury cleared both Apple and LG completely.

The jurors found that both companies were indeed covered by a "pay as you go" industry-wide licensing pool, and thus had already paid the Multimedia Patent Trust (Alcatel-Lucent's patent division) for the technology. Despite the existence of this licensing pool, Alcatel-Lucent have been shaking down companies for individual licenses for years, with at least 33 other tech firms having paid over $190 million to further license the patents and avoid litigation.

The trial began on November 27 in San Diego, beginning with a 2010 lawsuit that targeted multiple versions of Apple's iOS devices and MacBook line, along with a handful of LG smartphones. A spokeswoman for Apple said the company was "very pleased" with the verdict.

by MacNN Staff



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