San Diego – A jury in San Diego found that Apple Inc. and LG Electronics Inc. did not infringe patents for electronic devices including phones and computers owned by Multimedia Patent Trust, an Alcatel-Lucent SA subsidiary. The verdict was issued Thursday after a trial that lasted more than two weeks in the Southern District of the United States District Court. The trial was presided over by U.S. District Judge Marilyn L. Huff.
The Paris-based Multimedia Patent Trust filed the lawsuit in December 2010 and it asked the jurors to award $9.1 million in royalty damages from LG Electronics and $172.3 million in royalty damages from Apple.
The Plaintiff accused LG Electronics of infringing two of its patents and Apple of infringing three of its patents for video-compression technology, which aids in sending data via satellite and over the Internet and allows for increased media storage on DVDs and Blu-Ray disks. The patent trust claimed the patents were infringed by multiple devices including LG Electronics’ Chocolate Touch VX8575, Touch AX8575, Bliss, UX700, Mystique UN610, Samba LG8575, and Lotus Elite LX610 as well as Apple’s MacBook, iMac, iPhone, iPod, and iPad. The patent trust also claimed that at least 33 different companies have paid more than $190 million to license the patents in question and Apple and LG Electronics should have to pay the licensing fees as well.
Apple and LG Electronics argued that they had in fact compensated the Multimedia Patent Trust because they are members of an industry-wide patent pool. The companies also claimed that the trust was attempting to expand the scope of its expired patents to cover technology that it does not own.
Though Apple and LG Electronics have a verdict, the two-year patent war is far from over between the companies. The patent trust has already motioned for mistrial, sighting the behavior of Apple’s counsel during closing arguments as reason to retry the case. Apple received the ruling just hours after losing a separate, unrelated case against MobileMedia, a subsidiary of Sony, MPEG-LA and Nokia. In that case a Delaware jury found Apple had infringed three patents dealing with the operation of the phone’s camera and call handling.