Apple pays $25 million in settlement with patent troll

“Apple has agreed to pay $25 million to settle a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Network-1 Technologies, which was suing over a patent from 1999 that basically just describes a simple file system function,” Jacob Kastrenakes reports for The Verge.

“The patent originated at Yale in 1996,” Kastrenakes reports. “Its creator then founded a company called Mirror Worlds, which began a long-running and expensive lawsuit against Apple.”

Kastrenakes reports, “That lawsuit — involving this very same patent — resulted in a $625 million judgement, which was later overturned.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Fini.

Apple win in Mirror Worlds case left intact by U.S. Supreme Court – June 24, 2013
Apple did not infringe Mirror Worlds patent, court rules – September 4, 2012
Apple wins reversal of $625.5 million Mirror Worlds verdict – April 5, 2011
Apple wins patents for Cover Flow, Time Machine and Magic Mouse – October 5, 2010
Apple challenges $625.5 million jury verdict in Mirror Worlds patent infringement trial – October 4, 2010
Apple ordered to pay up to $625.5 million in damages to Mirror Worlds – October 4, 2010
Apple loses patent-infringement trial over Cover Flow, Time Machine – October 3, 2010
Mirror Worlds slaps Apple with patent infringement lawsuit over Time Machine – March 18, 2008


    1. Are you talking about Sumshung or Donalds female companions from the former communist KGB Russia? No wonder that ex KGB chief called Putan loves him.

  1. Apple is a corporation, and corporations don’t have feelings or inherent goodness.

    Would be good to see a story about the number of times Apple has been caught using somebody else’s creations without compensating the inventors.

    Could be a longer list than we expect.

    1. I have to disagree MaxBay regarding any ‘responsible capitalism’ company. That includes Apple. The attitude that corporations are able to become inhuman, psychopathic (no conscience) entities is a vacant (to be kind) concept that is used for self-justification for irresponsible capitalism.

      I maintain that one of the reasons Apple is a perennial target of HATERS is that said HATERS are irresponsible capitalists who, for various reasons, don’t like Apple’s responsible attitude toward:
      A) It’s products,
      B) It’s customers,
      C) Miracle planet Earth, our only home.

      Rather than go into boring tirade mode about this situation, I’ll leave it at that. There’s not much to do about it except to champion the responsible capitalists. That’s one reason I stick around here and cheer on Apple. It’s also one reason I bitch at Apple when they profoundly screw up. I know they usually care about their blunders and usually repair them. The more we point out the squeaky wheel…

        1. The spell correction always seems to change “its” to “it’s” until you teach it. It is a stupid default, since the non-apostrophe version is much more frequent in my experience.

      1. Curie,

        Except for misstating me, you did just fine.

        Do you not understand the legal entity which a corporation is? It inherently has no personality, no ethics, no human quality.

        We are lucky for now that Apple has done well in adding human qualities to itself.

        But why are you and others afraid of? A little sunlight?

        I must have really touched a nerve, all you people afraid to know the tactics Apple has used to solidify their dominance.

        Or did you think they were good and lucky all these years?

        1. But aren’t corporations people too? I head that somewhere.

          I don’t actually think they should be considered people, because they are clearly not. Which is why the people of the world need to heavily regulate corporations, to protect ourselves from the inhumanity of corporations.

        2. Oh, it’s you, dickweed. Another day, another fake anonymous coward nick, another opportunity for self-denigration through the denigration of others.

          I addressed the subject of psychopathic behavior self-justification. Here you backed up my point. You are, as usual, determined to be psychopathic. It’s a broad subject with a spectrum of qualities and severity. However, you clearly qualify. With every post, especially to me, you make that clear. My retort: No, as a human being you do NOT have any right to be psychopathic toward others. NEITHER does any corporation, despite your utter nonsense to the contrary. REGULATION is what keeps the loonies on the path. How sad for you. Oh yeah, you don’t know how to feel sad, or anything else other than self-loathing. *Symptom*

    2. There are core functions that all filesystems, operating systems and applications perform that are not unique, they are more or less standards and how it’s done

      To use a car analogy some of these patents are the equivalent of suing Ford because you believe you have a patent on the wheel.

      Many if them are that ridiculous.

    3. Could be, MaxBay, could be. But do you have any reason to believe so? Do you have any reason to believe that Apple is as bad as, or worse than other corporations? Have you considered that given all of the active patents that it is nearly impossible not to inadvertently infringe, or appear to infringe, on some patent? On top of that, there are the broad and baseless patents which have been awarded for some reason. On top of that, there are the patent trolls twisting the system to try to scare people into forking over cash via threat of lawsuit.

      Personally, I believe that Apple does its best to avoid patent infringement. In addition to the culture of the company and its battle again Microsoft and Samsung which sensitized it to theft, it just makes good business sense.

      Corporations do have a conscience. It is provided by the BoD and the upper management. If they do the right things and propagate that mentality throughout the corporation, then the corporation does the right things. That does not make the corporation a person. That Supreme Court ruling is still bull crap. But the corporation is not a machine and should not be thought of as such because it is an excuse for bad actions. Corporations are guided and those in charge should be held accountable.

      1. KingMel,

        I have no belief one way or the other…I do not know.

        But why all this fear among other posters?

        Look at what other corporations did to ensure cars were used more than electric trolleys.

        Corporations will outlive you and me. They do not inherently have a soul or a conscience or any human quality.

        Corporations have for generations killed and poisoned and bribed. We are lucky that Apple is above that, but that avoids the point.

        What has Apple done to make sure their challengers don’t have a chance?

        It’s a fair question. I have no opinion. But I am amused at the number of people ignorant of the historical function of corporations.

        Don’t love a corporation fellows, whether one named after a beautiful fruit or one which says, “Don’t be evil.” They do not love you.

  2. Clearly, it was worth it for Apple to fight this patent troll. The final settlement is profoundly lower than the original, overturned judgement.

    Was the patent legitimate? From the source article, it’s hard to tell. But the vagary of what’s quoted about the patent…

    “The present invention relates to an operating system in which documents are stored in a chronologically ordered ‘stream’

    …makes it sound like it should never have been issued in the first place. The many decades older UNIX file system may well be prior art that negates the patent. Yes, it knew in the late 1970s how to present files in chronological order, be they documents or any other files.

    Anyway, justice or injustice, tech savvy or techTardy, it’s done. √

      1. √ Point. But the question is continually brought up as to whether the USTPO knows what it’s doing or bothers to check for prior art. Issuing crap patents equals expensive lawsuits sorting out messes created by the USPTO.

      2. The term “legitimate” can mean “technically and procedurally legitimate” or it can mean “reasonably legitimate when people who actually _know_ things say so.” I think Derek was questioning the patent’s legitimacy under the second meaning.
        It’s kinda like saying “well, it’s legal to .” The problem with that is that slavery used to be legal, torture used to be (still is?) legal, etc. etc. Legality does not and should not define morality.
        Same thing to a lesser extent with things like government-granted monopolies over “how to do something.” There’s no clear moral grounds to say “I thought up something first, so now you cannot ever do that thing.” The patent system exists because there’s a quid pro quo. The government says to inventors “Instead of you trying to keep this a secret, and the secret potentially becoming lost of you die, we will grant you a short-term monopoly over the practice of your invention, in exchange for you telling us everything about it.”
        If the patent system fails to encourage the growth of knowledge and pushing technology forward, but instead holds back development and causes chaos and confusion, it is failing in its primary purpose, and thus there is no longer a justification for it existence.
        The same is true for most law: if the law is doing more harm than good, why should it be the law?

    1. Bingo, botvinnik,

      Finally, a wise comment.

      There is a plaque at Green and Union which commemorates Philo Farnsworth’s demonstration of TV in San Francisco.

      George Lucas had a statute to Farnsworth erected when he build his Presidio operation.

      Farnsworth knew what corporations COULD be like. These posters who think any corporation is above cruel and inhuman behavior have never read much about the subject.

      Did it bother Boeing and Raytheon and the like to know their weapons were used to destroy Iraq…a nation which had nothing to do with 9/11?

      Nope. They took pride in the killing.

      1. “Corporations have for generations killed and poisoned and bribed. ”
        No they haven’t. They haven’t done that – and they haven’t NOT done that.

        “Corporations do have a conscience.”
        No they don’t.

        “…who think any corporation is above cruel and inhuman behavior”
        CORPORATIONS do not engage in ANY kind of behavior.

        “Did it bother Boeing and Raytheon and the like to know their weapons were used to destroy Iraq”
        No it didn’t. Because CORPORATIONS are not bothered by anything — nor are they NOT bothered.

        Corporations do not ‘do’ … or cheat, steal, bribe, abuse or feel. They do have ‘have’ a conscience … or ‘not have’ one. These are all properties of PEOPLE.

        It’s bad enough how executives and business owners deny their responsibility for cheating, stealing and killing. Don’t help them with this kind of language and thinking.

    1. Which would you prefer:

      1. the certainty of paying somebody $25 to end a dispute today or
      2. The unknown, but nonzero, chance of owing them anything from nothing to over $625 (plus litigation costs) at some random point in the future.

      Choosing the final resolution rather than continuing the uncertainty is the only rational business decision.

  3. “Apple has agreed to pay $25 million to settle a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Network-1 Technologies, which was suing over a patent from 1999 that basically just describes a simple file system function. “The present invention relates to an operating system in which documents are stored in a chronologically ordered ‘stream,'” the patent begins.” Isn’t that something that has taken place in business and other other areas of human endeavor that require the filing of documents and other forms of paperwork since the age of quit and paper were used? Back then you had an “In Box” and an “Out Box” on a person desk and then the papers were filed into a folder of some type and then put in a filing container. How simple is that? It used to be in order to get a patent you must design and create something new and original or be an improvement to an existing patent. Now you just draw a flow chart that is generic and it gets passed through the system with little thought behind it.

  4. The headline writer and/or original author is a MORON to call Gelenter a patent troll. If you had done any basic research into the case you would have seen that STEVE JOBS sent am internal email telling his people TO LOOK AT/ GET GELENTER’S SOFTWARE.

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