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Apple Defeats Patent Suit Challenging Its Mobile Technology

Apple defeats an infringement case that alleged the Cupertino company's iPhones and iPad tablets infringed on its pager patents.

Apple defeated a civil suit brought by a Honolulu company that was seeking $94 million in damages for allegedly infringing on its patents for pager technology.

A jury in U.S. District Court in San Jose Tuesday rejected claims that three versions of Apple’s iPhones and three generations of iPad tablets infringed on GPNE’s patents.

Apple applauded the verdict and branded GPNE as a “patent troll,” whose own founder acknowledged in testimony that the company’s revenue comes from licensing its portfolio of patents, as well as enforcing its patents through litigation.

“Apple invents products that revolutionize industries, and relies upon the U.S. patent system to protect our innovation,” Apple said in a statement. “We urge congressional leaders to continue focusing on reform in this important area of patent law.”

A study from PriceWaterhouseCoopers released this summer found that the number of patent cases is on the rise. While the median size of damage awards is falling, businesses that exist solely on licensing fees are collecting far more money in these disputes than ongoing businesses. Efforts to reform patent law have stalled in Congress.

GPNE, meanwhile, believes “the Judge will address the underlying legal issues in post-verdict motions,” Kalpana Srinivasan, the attorney representing the company, said in a statement.

The suit, which was filed in July 2011, initially alleged patent infringement by a broad swath of technology companies, including Amazon, Nokia, Research in Motion (now BlackBerry), Sharp and Sony Ericsson Mobile.

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