updated 12:33 am EDT, Sat July 12, 2014
Jury finds Apple did not push app developers into infringing older streaming patent
Apple has scored another legal victory, this time against Israeli firm Emblaze and its charge that Apple induced app developers to infringe Emblaze's US patent on live video streaming. A federal jury found in Friday that Apple was not guilty of requiring any of the seven example apps used in the trial to use Apple's own HLS (HTTP live streaming) protocol, and thus did not foster infringement of the patent. Emblaze, a struggling audio company that had tried to sell the technology many times, is also suing Microsoft in a similar case.
Apple attorney Mark Fowler failed to convince the jury that the original video patent was wholly invalid, but it did find Apple innocent of any deliberate attempt at infringement. Emblaze was originally awarded its patent some 10 years prior to the development of Apple's own HLS, and sued Apple in 2010 over it. Apple maintained that it developed its technology independently, and also that it did not require apps to use Apple's HLS implementation as a proprietary advantage against competitors, since iOS devices do not support Adobe's Flash video-delivery technology.
Among the apps examined in the trial were MLB At Bat, ABC News, WatchESPN and four others. Fowler had argued to the jury that Emblaze was simply a failing company attempting to target Apple and others after failing to sell the technology to numerous telecom and tech firms.