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December 14, 2012

Apple Infringed MobileMedia Patents: Jury

Apple is guilty of breaching three patents held by a company in which chief competitors Sony and Nokia are minor stakeholders, a federal jury has decided.

The Delaware jury ruled Dec. 13 that the iPhone infringes on MobileMedia Ideas’ Smartphone call handling, call rejection and camera patents. Court filings indicated Sony and Nokia owned the patents initially.

The jury deliberated for four hours before reaching its verdict. The verdict form can be viewed here.

“We’re very pleased,” MobileMedia CEO Larry Horn told the Financial Post after the trial. “We think it’s justified.”

MobileMedia’s complaint claimed the company would be caused “irreparable injury” if Apple was permitted to use the patented inventions in its iPhone without paying royalties.

MobileMedia Ideas, a patent licensing company, sued Apple in 2010 for violating 14 patents, including some claims against iPod media players. The number of patents was cut back to three before the trial began.

U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson has yet to set a trial date to decide on damages, but Horn is predicting the damages awarded will be “substantial.”

Apple is no stranger to lawsuits. The company has been in and out of court with arch-rival Samsung as the two technology giants accuse one another of patent violations.