Apple loses ringtone infringement case to Nokia and Sony's patent troll firm

Apple loses ringtone infringement case to Nokia and Sony's patent troll firm
Apple has been ordered to pony up $3 million in damages by a Delaware judge for infringing the patent of a firm partially owned by Sony and Nokia. The case, which has been running since way back in 2010, saw MobileMedia Ideas originally accuse Apple on 16 counts of patent infringement. Six years and plenty of court activity later, the original claim has been whittled down to just one patent pertaining to iPhone ringer alerts, for which MobileMedia has been awarded a tidy sum of money. 

Specifically, Apple has been found guilty of infringing a patent regarding the silencing of an incoming call without the caller knowing. A useful feature that many iPhone users take advantage of, the original invention is adjudged to have been MobileMedia's, hence the damages. 

The MobileMedia Ideas vs. Apple case is particularly interesting since the former's sole existence is to collect patents. It apparently doesn't have any products or services to speak of, but has gone after HTC and BlackBerry along with Cupertino with patent claims. Both Sony and Nokia are among the names with a stake in MobileMedia Ideas, which has been dubbed a corporate troll on more than one occasion.

Still, while the old adage that the trolls always win may be true once again, this may feel like more of a loss for the good folks of MobileMedia. After all, the firm has only been awarded a fraction of the original $18 million it was apparently seeking, and $3 million seems a rather paltry reward for six years worth of effort and legal fees. 

Plus, given Apple's vast cash reserves, the award is unlikely to affect the fruit company in any meaningful way. 

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25 Comments

1. joevsyou

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

what a joke...

4. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

What a joke, bruh! Apple are copycats, they should pay all $18 million.

7. Bm888

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

Apple the King of patent troll, Nokia still the King of tech patents..

13. Rafishant

Posts: 389; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

Who is gonna sue a giant company like Nokia which owns of 64000 patents! I don't think that Nokia ever lost a legal case.

26. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

for old basic mobile tech, you're right....

19. j2001m

Posts: 3060; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

This is way more than Samsung got ordered to pay

22. Kdk2020

Posts: 23; Member since: Apr 27, 2016

Yh bro. Sumn like that

12. sissy246

Posts: 6833; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Why because it's Apple. You would be all over Samsung if it easy them. Isheep think it's just fine when Apple copies but if anyone copies apple it how dear they.

2. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Apple sues over something, its fine. Someone else sues, they are patent trolls. Or at least that is the perspective that seems to be, so yeah.

10. minhajmsd

Posts: 24; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

Patent trolls are companies who have no products/low end products who seek to make their profit primarily through litigation. Were it actually Sony or Nokia they wouldn't be considered patent trolls.

11. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

If they part own said company though it would seem they have a stake in it?

3. monoke

Posts: 1097; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Impossible! Apple are true innovators and would never eva eva copy other companies! Made up story. Fo sho!

25. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

But since iPhone 6, it doesn't innovation anymore (except iPhone 6S 3D touch).

5. wando77

Posts: 1166; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

And apple don't just buy up patents to sue samsung etc? They deserve all they get

6. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Considering Apple has sued people with things it also didn't invent or make, makes them as much of a patent troll as any other company. However, if a company patented something and someone steals it, the law doesn't say you need to have an actual working product with said idea. The law only requires that you have filed it and it was granted. as long as the patent was granted, no one has a right to steal it. Even though they were award only $3M, that likely does not include the cost of 6 years of fighting the case, so Apple will be on the hook for that too. Death to all patent trolls or trolls in general. Apple has plenty of money. If they see a tech they want to use, they should be willing to license it and use it. Stealing with the risk of getting busted, means you will be on the hook for more money and the risk of having a product banned is not worth it.

9. Subie

Posts: 2227; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

3 million dollars awarded, but after 6 years how much was spent on lawyer fees by both parties?

14. SIGPRO

Posts: 2806; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

F*ck apple, bunch of copycat's!

15. zeppo

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

They also lost another case which the patents is also owned by Nokia originally. The News is from yesterday btw. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/09/patent-firm-hits-apple-with-22-1m-verdict-over-lte-patent/

16. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Very well deserved, but it's merely a smack on the wrist to the patent troll king.

17. zeppo

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Out of topic, it's took around 4-5 mins when you can post a comment lol. It is so f**ing bad, Over at gsmarena with adblock off, it's flying fast.

18. sissy246

Posts: 6833; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Agree

20. Lyngdoh

Posts: 319; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

We all know who the real and biggest troll is when it comes to infringement.

21. Fona13A unregistered

I can hardly muster up the courtesy to read past the headline. Phonearena, you cannot subtle. At all.

23. Fona13A unregistered

Apple bullies the hell out of the competition and can get away with it, they get a proper dropkick to the balls like they deserve to be and everyone else is a troll. Can you suck a dick any better than that?

24. tedkord

Posts: 16977; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

This is the world you made Apple, now live in it.

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