According to a new report published today, a patent troll by the name of GPNE has lost their patent infringement lawsuit against Apple today. Apple, who calls GPNE a patent troll, was "pleased" by the verdict handed down today.
CNET reports that "GPNE sued Apple in 2011 over two patents related to technology for communicating across cellular networks. GPNE earlier this month told a jury that Apple should pay it $94 million for selling iPhones and iPads that infringe its patents. The company's suit included the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2, iPad 3 and iPad Mini."
Apple's official statement reads as follows:
"We are pleased the jury in California saw through GPNE's attempt to extort money from Apple for 20 year old pager patents that have expired, wasting time for everyone involved. GPNE is a patent troll with no active business other than patent litigation. They have sent more than 300 demand letters in the past year to everyone from truckers and farmers to roofers and dairies threatening costly legal entanglements if these small businesses didn't pay them off -- this isn't right. Apple invents products that revolutionize industries, and relies upon the U.S. patent system to protect our innovation. We urge congressional leaders to continue focusing on reform in this important area of patent law."
A Note about Patent Trolls and Action Being Taken
A 2011 study showed that Patent Trolls cost tech companies $29 Billion and a 2012 study made the case that patent trolling was out of control. In the first half 2013, Apple remained the #1 Target of Patent Trolls. In the second half of 2013 Apple remained in the top three.
On December 5, 2013, The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the "Innovation Act" bill on Thursday aimed at discouraging frivolous lawsuits by patent holders. The move was backed by companies like Apple, IBM, Cisco and Google. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) sponsored the bill, which won strong bipartisan support in passing by a 325-91 vote. Goodlatte said his bill "takes meaningful steps to address the abusive practices that have damaged our patent system and resulted in significant economic harm to our nation."
In Addition to the new act, the FTC is currently examining the practices of patent trolls or Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) which are firms with a business model based primarily on purchasing patents and then attempting to generate revenue by asserting the intellectual property against persons who are already practicing the patented technologies. The FTC is conducting the study in order to further one of the agency's key missions—to examine cutting-edge competition and consumer protection topics that may have a significant effect on the U.S. economy.
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