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Apple Ordered to Pay $21.7 Million in Patent Suit

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 36 comments

Apple has been ordered to pay Opti Inc. a total of $21.7 million in damages following a patent infringement suit.

If this rings any bells it's because Opti actually sued Apple successfully earlier this year. Ars Technica reports that, in a lawsuit filed in 2007, OPTi alleged Apple had infringed upon its patent covering "predictive snooping of cache memory for master-initiated accesses."

The technology, in general, uses predictive snooping of cache memory to speed up PCI bus data transfers, with the intent of maintaining a constant transfer rate. This year, a jury determined willful infringement and Apple was ordered to pay $19 million in "reasonable royalties."

Apple opposed the verdict, stating that it had not willfully infringed upon the patent and claiming the use of the technology is "obvious" and covered by prior art. This week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Everingham granted Apple's motion for judgment as a matter of law that it did not willfully infringe Opti's patent for predictive cache snooping. However, according to Ars, Everingham issued a guilty verdict anyway, ordering the Cupertino-based Mac maker to pay a total of $21.7 million in damages.

Read the full story here.

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  • 23 Hide
    sunflier , December 9, 2009 2:38 PM
    19Million??

    Overpriced @ $2500.00 Apple just needs to sell 7600 Mac Pro Workstations.
  • 23 Hide
    Blessedman , December 9, 2009 2:58 PM
    this whole idea of patenting ideas that may show up in the future without a working model is total BS. The patent office needs to insist that if these companies are going to file for a patent that the company is obligated to first show a working model.
  • 19 Hide
    gekko668 , December 9, 2009 2:43 PM
    21.7 millions of dollars mean nothing to Apple consider they made billions of dollars in profit each quarter.
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    sunflier , December 9, 2009 2:38 PM
    19Million??

    Overpriced @ $2500.00 Apple just needs to sell 7600 Mac Pro Workstations.
  • 19 Hide
    gekko668 , December 9, 2009 2:43 PM
    21.7 millions of dollars mean nothing to Apple consider they made billions of dollars in profit each quarter.
  • 23 Hide
    Blessedman , December 9, 2009 2:58 PM
    this whole idea of patenting ideas that may show up in the future without a working model is total BS. The patent office needs to insist that if these companies are going to file for a patent that the company is obligated to first show a working model.
  • 6 Hide
    ssalim , December 9, 2009 3:17 PM
    Lol, yeap.

    "$21mil? ah dang, well it'll return in 2 days selling 7600 mac pro. No worries guys."
  • 12 Hide
    pooflinger1 , December 9, 2009 3:19 PM
    Nelson from the Simpsons comes to mind....

    *points finger at apple and says Ha Ha*
  • 16 Hide
    choujij , December 9, 2009 3:24 PM
    I'm sure Apple will think of something to sue them back...
  • 2 Hide
    jgiron , December 9, 2009 3:25 PM
    I think Apple is going bankrupt now...21Mil?
    'Pocket Change'
  • 5 Hide
    bunz_of_steel , December 9, 2009 3:27 PM
    GOOOOOD Screw that Steve Job's billionare exec's outa their "hard earned" money! ROFLMA I luv it!!!
  • -8 Hide
    maddad , December 9, 2009 3:58 PM
    I don't understand why there are so many Apple haters here. I don't own and Apple computer or an iphone, but Apple innovates and everyone else then jumps on board to try and catch up. Where were all the cool phones from Motorola, Samsung, LG, and HTC before the iphone showed up? Where were all the thin laptops before the Mac Air? Anyway reguardless, they need to get a handle on the patent trolls before all the companies who do create, build, and innovate decide they can't produce anything new without getting sued.
  • 12 Hide
    njalterio , December 9, 2009 4:10 PM
    maddad
    Where were all the cool phones from Motorola, Samsung, LG, and HTC before the iphone showed up?


    Blackberry

    maddad
    Where were all the thin laptops before the Mac Air?



    Mitsubishi Pedion in 1998


    Besides, the macbook air has had major overheating problems.

    maddad
    Anyway reguardless, they need to get a handle on the patent trolls before all the companies who do create, build, and innovate decide they can't produce anything new without getting sued.


    I agree with you on that one.
  • 0 Hide
    wildwell , December 9, 2009 4:38 PM
    Blessedmanthis whole idea of patenting ideas that may show up in the future without a working model is total BS. The patent office needs to insist that if these companies are going to file for a patent that the company is obligated to first show a working model.

    Right! This is getting out of hand. Apple and every other tech company must have whole law firms working full itme on law suits against each other.

    Tomorrow's news... Apple is awarded 21.7 million dollar in patent law suit.
  • 1 Hide
    FunYun , December 9, 2009 4:44 PM
    bogcottonI agree with your general idea, but providing a working model isn't practical.Imagine a company has spent millions investing into how to make a truly unique product which was completely their idea, but they haven't managed to produce it yet, then another company looks at their plans, works it out, and steals their idea providing a working model and gets their patent.It would be better if they were obligated to produce a certain percentage of their companies value in stock which then gets sold, once it is possible to make their device.Honestly I think it would be better if patents had a new system which involves a jury making common sense decisions rather than the nonsense system everyone has now.


    By definition, if their device does not work, then they are patenting the idea of what it would do.

    I would like to the patten the idea of manned space flight to Mars. I don't know all the details, or even have a working model, but why should that matter?
  • 1 Hide
    TripGun , December 9, 2009 4:54 PM
    I like the ipod touch...that said I am still a PC, the poor people winning this lawsuit won't see any funds for approx 5-7 years, then they will only see partial payments of $300,000-$400,000 over the next 8-10 years because they will file the proper paperwork to make it seem that if they paid the entire settlement it would hurt the company and then they can just file chapter 11 and dump the whole deal. I have always said that there are too many loopholes that allow companies to manipulate the system. Accountability is lost.
  • 0 Hide
    jellico , December 9, 2009 5:01 PM
    FunYunBy definition, if their device does not work, then they are patenting the idea of what it would do.I would like to the patten the idea of manned space flight to Mars. I don't know all the details, or even have a working model, but why should that matter?

    Uh, yeah... I think it's a little more involved than that. In order to file for a patent, you have to provide blueprints, or code or a plan of some sort; this is in addition to a DETAILED narrative of what it is that the device or code is supposed to do and how it is supposed to work. The device or algorithm doesn't have to be functional.

    If another company comes along and builds a functional device or algorithm that is substantially based upon the schematics or code you submitted for patent, then there is a high degree of probability that you will receive a judgement in your favor. You can not simply patent an idea. So your notion about patenting the idea of a manned space flight to Mars won't work. However, if you came up with a space-craft design, even if it is not functional, THEN you could patent it and sit back waiting (hoping) that someone steals your design.

    Ironically, if they did, you would be smiling all the way to the bank and some other idiot on a forum or blog would be whining about how people shouldn't be able to patent idea.
  • 1 Hide
    scryer_360 , December 9, 2009 5:51 PM
    I agree with those who say a company must show a working model to gain a patent, or at least have a concept that they can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt belongs to them and is something that they developed and made possible before anyone else can.

    To just patent ideas... that is where things get tricky.
  • 0 Hide
    cruiseoveride , December 9, 2009 7:29 PM
    Milk'em milk'em good.
  • 0 Hide
    ram1009 , December 9, 2009 7:33 PM
    Poetic justice.
  • 1 Hide
    kajohn10 , December 9, 2009 8:01 PM
    "predictive snooping of cache memory for master-initiated accesses."

    Really? Wow, this sounds similar to BRANCH PREDICTION! You are just doing it at a different level. Apple needs to ditch lawyers (yes, I hate them) and get a good engineer who can present tech data to "simple" people, and this should be dismissed.

    Predictive snooping...wow. I am going to file a patent on "Command Arragement, using any number of data bits from 1 to 1TB..."
    Now I just sit back and sue any chip maker that goes and makes CPUs using instruction sets. GOLD!
    /sarcasm
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , December 9, 2009 8:06 PM
    None of you have anything remotely close to working knowledge of patent law. Why don't you just leave it to the professionals.

    As a side note, did you know that someone patented peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Smuckers bought and still holds the patent.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 9, 2009 8:35 PM
    Finally, Apple is the one getting sued.
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