Apple apparently infringed MobileMedia’s patent RE39,231, which relates to ring-silencing features on mobile phones and the court ruled that Jobs’ Mob will have to write a cheque for $3 million.
The Tame Apple press has waded into MobileMedia on two fronts for daring to take Apple to court. Firstly, it called it patent troll when it really isn’t. It is a patent pool majority-owned by MPEG-LA, a that licenses common digital video technologies like H-264, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4.
Secondly, the Tame Apple Press claimed that it was a “proxy war” being waged by Sony and Nokia, which both contributed the patents owned by the company.
The case took years and was initially for three patents, and the ring-silencing was the last one remaining. It is likely that Apple will not take this lying down either and will appeal to the Federal Circuit.
Apple’s defence was that when Sony had direct control of the patent it failed to mention it to Apple, however when it moved the patents to the pool suddenly it was sued. We know, it is hardly a defence – it just means that after farming out its patents to MobileMedia their enforcement became more efficient.