Apple was hit with a $8 million fine after a federal jury in Eastern Texas ruled that the company violated two patents. Patent holding company Personal Audio claimed that Apple violated patents related to jumping forward and backward in playlists and navigating music playlists.
Personal Audio, a patent licensing company, filed the case against Apple in 2009, with them seeking $84 million in damages. The US patents that are said to be infinged by Apple are No. 7,509,178, “Audio program distribution and playback system,” and No. 6,199,076, “Audio program player including a dynamic program selection controller,” according to FOSS Patents. Other defendants included in the case were Coby Electronics, Archos and Sirius XM, but all three companies all settled in May and July 2010.
The first patent was filed in 2001 and was approved in 2009, while the second was filed in 1996 and was approved in 2001. This makes both technologies older than the first iPod, which was released in 2001.
Apple claimed that it did not use the patented technology and that both patents were invalid, but the Texas jury disagreed and upheld their validity.
It is unclear whether Apple will pay the fine or appeal the verdict. The $8 million fine is considered as change compared to the revenue that the company brings in. Last year, the iPod alone generated $8.3 billion in sales, which is about 13 percent of the company’s total revenue.
Should Apple pay the fine now or risk losing more money by appealing?