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Apple Fined $500m For Infringing 4G patent

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A Texas court on Tuesday ruled that Apple must pay more than $500 million in damages and interest for 4G patent infringements held by intellectual property company PanOptis.

The US tech giant, Apple, told a local media outlet that it will appeal Tuesday’s decision.

PanOptis, which specializes in licensing patents, took Apple to court in February 2019, claiming it refused to pay for the use of 4G LTE technologies in its smartphones, tablets and watches.

The court filing read that “the plaintiffs have repeatedly negotiated with Apple to reach an agreement for a FRAND license to the Plaintiff’s patent portfolios which Apple is infringing.”

AFP reports that FRAND refers to terms that are “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” and is the IT industry standard for technology use.

“The negotiations have been unsuccessful because Apple refuses to pay a FRAND royalty to the Plaintiff’s license.”

Legal publications have also revealed that Apple argued unsuccessfully that the patents were invalid.

“Lawsuits like this by companies who accumulate patents simply to harass the industry only serve to stifle innovation and harm consumers,” the firm said in a statement reported by media outlets.

This situation is one of the many patent suits from licensing firms that make no products but hold rights to certain technologies.

This is the second time the Texas court will be ruling against Apple. In the past, it ruled that the Tech giant pays hundreds of millions of dollars to VirnetX, another company specializing in patent litigation.

PanOptis, on its website, offers to manage its clients’ patents, allowing them to concentrate on “innovation and new development.”

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