WiLAN’s $145m award in Apple patent victory slashed

A Canada-based IP licensing company which was awarded $145 million in a patent infringement suit against Apple last year, has been told to accept a re-trial or have the payment slashed to $10 million.

On Monday, January 7, WiLAN said a district judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of California had granted Apple’s motion for a new trial or remittitur.

A remittitur is a ruling by a judge lowering the amount of damages granted by a jury in a civil case.

District judge Dana Sabraw approved a conditional remittitur to $10 million and ordered both parties to appear for a settlement conference on January 14.

The motion was granted because Sabraw agreed with Apple that the method for deciding damages in the first trial was flawed.

In a trial at the same court in August 2018, a jury awarded WiLAN $145.1 million in damages against Apple. The infringement suit, which had been running since 2013, found that Apple had infringed two of WiLAN’s patents (US No 8,457,145 and 8,537,757).

If WiLAN accepts the reduced damages of $10 million, a Notice of Remittitur must be filed by January 10. If it decides not to accept, the court will grant Apple its motion for a new trial on damages.

In its announcement, WiLAN said the new trial would “only determine the amount of damages owed”, since a January 4 ruling by judge Sabraw upheld the jury verdict that Apple infringed WiLAN’s technology.

This is not the first case in which WiLAN and Apple have clashed. In 2013, the licensing company lost a $248 million claim against Apple. It appealed against the decision but lost again in 2014.

The patents in the latest case cover “bandwidth request/grant protocols” (‘145) and “adaptive call admission control” (‘757). WiLAN acquired both patents from wireless technology company Ensemble Communications in 2006.

Créditos: WIPR