Article: Apple Gets New Damages Trial After $506M Patent Verdict

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Apple Gets New Damages Trial After $506M Patent Verdict

Caitlin Simpson, 14 April 2021

A Texas federal judge ruled Wednesday that Apple is entitled to a new damages trial after a jury found in August that it infringed PanOptis’ standard-essential 4G wireless patents and must pay $506 million, saying there is “serious doubt” about the reliability of the verdict.

U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap declined to order a new trial on any other issues that Apple raised. As for the damages, he said that because the dispute centers on standard-essential patents, or SEPs, they must be licensed on terms that are fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory, or FRAND, but the parties decided to leave the FRAND issues to a bench trial after the jury trial.

As a result, the jury never heard what FRAND terms would be, which “casts serious doubt on the reliability of the verdict” and means the damages award is not necessarily fair and reasonable, the judge said.

“The court now finds itself left with a very large damages award made as to SEPs where the jury never heard the acronym FRAND or heard evidence about how that concept impacted a fair damages award in this case,” he said. “In the court’s view, this requires a new trial on damages.”

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