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Apple ordered to pay US$300 million in FairPlay patent infringement trial

A Texas judge has ruled that Apple must pay more than US$300 million for patent infringement on its digital platforms.

The court concluded that Apple was infringing on a patent for digital rights management held by Personalized Media Communications in the technology behind iTunes, the App Store and Apple Music including FairPlay. As a result, Apple must pay the company around US$308.5 million.

The decision comes at the end of a years-long legal battle stemming back as far as 2015 when the lawsuit was originally filed. Apple had challenged the validity of the patent, which was upheld by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. That decision however was overturned in 2020, and the case was revived for trial. 

Apple has said that it would appeal the ruling, and issued a statement that “Cases like this, brought by companies that don’t make or sell any products, stifle innovation and ultimately harm consumers.”

Personalized Media has gone after a number of big players over patent infringement in recent years. Google and YouTube successfully defeated a trial lodged by the company, while a case against Netflix is currently pending.