• Jeremy Rutman

Goliath (Apple) vs. Troll (Personalized Media Communications) Round 3(2021)

Apple lost an infringement case [1] to the tune of $308.5 million to Personalized Media Communications. A federal jury in court in Texas found that Apple infringed a PMC patent for digital rights management. PMC sued Apple for use of its FairPlay technology, which it claimed was used to distribute encrypted material from Apple channels including iTunes, Apple Music, and the App Store.


PMC of Sugarland, Texas, which is a 'patent licensing firm', started the suit in 2015, claiming the tech giant had infringed seven patents. Apple challenged the case successfully at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. However an appeals court reversed the patent board’s decision last March, and the case went to trial in the Texas court.


Apple will appeal, of course: “Cases like this, brought by companies that don’t make or sell any products, stifle innovation and ultimately harm consumers,” Apple’s statement reads.


And giants, beware of more to come: PMC also has infringement cases pending against Netflix, Google, and Amazon.


Google won a patent trial against Personalized Media in November over patents PMC claimed were used in YouTube, while the Netflix case is pending in New York.


[1] Personalized Media Communications LLC v. Apple Inc., 2:15-cv-1366, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Marshall)


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