Apple has emerged victorious in yet another legal tussle pertaining to patent infringement. The Cupertino company has won the lawsuit filed against it by ContentGuard Holdings, a subsidiary of Pendrell Corp.
ContentGuard, the digital rights management business, sued Apple for the infringement of five anti-piracy patents. In 2000, a partnership between Microsoft Corp. and Xerox Corp. led to the formation of ContentGuard, which is now owned by Time Warner and Pendrell Corp. Pendrell holds close to 1,200 patents worldwide through its subsidiaries.
On Friday, Nov. 20, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas jury decreed that Apple did not flout five DRM-related patents which were owned by ContentGuard.
For the unfamiliar, ContentGuard accused Apple of applying the DRM technology illegally to its digital content distribution services. Apple challenged these claims as being baseless.
In 2013, ContentGuard sued not only Apple but also Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Google Inc. in 2014, claiming that the companies infringed several of its anti-piracy patents, which aid in the restriction of content access only to approved users.
In a different case in September 2015, a jury ruled that Google Inc. did not infringe the same five patents. Samsung too was given a clean chit in the lawsuit ContentGuard filed against the South Korean company.
In the lawsuit against Apple, ContentGuard asserted that the former infringed its five DRM patents by developing and retailing devices (which used iBooks and iTunes) to dispense movies, songs, books and shows that were DRM protected.
Apple stood its ground and denied infringing and averred that the DRM-related patents were invalid.
However, the jury found that Apple was unable to prove the invalidity of the patents. Nevertheless, Apple will not be paying any damages to ContentGuard Holdings.
ContentGuard's lawyer Samuel Baxter revealed that the ruling was disappointing.