Judge Reverses Ridiculous $625 Million Patent Award Against Apple Over Cover Flow, Spotlight & Time Machine
from the smart-judge dept
Last fall, we wrote about yet another in a long line of ridiculous patent lawsuits. This one, filed against Apple, got some extra attention, because the lawsuit was filed by Mirror Worlds, a spinoff from Yale University, founded by Prof. David Gelertner, who was complaining in the press that he wasn’t getting “credit” for these inventions which Apple was accused of infringing on. Of course, the patents seemed pretty general:
- 6,006,227: Document stream operating system
- 6,638,313: Document stream operating system
- 6,725,427: Document stream operating system with document organizing and display facilities
- 6,768,999: Enterprise, stream-based, information management system
Still, as happens all too often in patent jury trials, the jury becomes enamored with the myth of the “American inventor” as a patent holder, and sided with Mirror Worlds in a massive way, claiming that Apple’s features of Spotlight, Cover Flow and Time Machine didn’t just infringe on these patents, but that the company owed over $200 million on each technology.
Apple responded, by pointing out that this ruling was plainly ridiculous, and thankfully, the judge in the case has agreed, pretty much tossing out the whole thing, noting that while the patents may still be valid, Apple did not infringe, and even if it did infringe, the damages awards were ridiculous.
It seems likely that Mirror Worlds will appeal, so this case probably isn’t over yet, but it’s nice to see a judge (in East Texas, too!) actually point out that the jury got this one totally and completely wrong.