No doubt some strong language and Sith choke holds were seen in Cupertino today, as word has broken of a patent infringement ruling against Apple to the tune of 5.5 million. With a wake-up call like that first thing Monday morning, who needs coffee? The lawsuit that led to the judicial command for the hefty payout was filed back in 2008 by the now defunct software company Mirror Worlds, which, as a piece of tragic trivia would have it, was founded by Unabomber victim and Yale professor David Hillel Gelernter. Can word of a patent lawsuit become more intriguing than this?
Yes. Yes it can.
According to the folks at Fast Company, Apple has been ordered to pay out a sum of 5.5 million a piece for Cover Flow as seen on their iPhone, iPods and Mac computers. Apple has unsurprisingly objected to this and requested a stay on the ruling, arguing that CoverFlow is in fact a single technology being used as part of the three product lines, and that being forced to pay a fine for each instance would triple-dipping on the part of Mirror Worlds. Were the suggested stay allowed, Apple would have 7 million they’ve been ordered to dole out to Mirror Worlds struck from the books. At the same time as the legal types at the East Texas Federal Court wade through the matter of the stay, you can bet that Apple legal is planning on mounting a counter-assault. Mirror Worlds was disbanded back in 2003 due to weak software sales. This along with the face that Apple was granted a patent for Cover Flow this past April, should give Jobs’ flying monkeys plenty of material to work with.
As always, we’ll fill you in on any new developments as they occur.
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