Alcatel-Lucent Accuses Apple and LG of Patent Infringement
A California court trial involving patent infringement allegations against co-defendants Apple and LG Electronics recently began on Tuesday. During the trial, Alcatel-Lucent’s Multimedia Patent Trust asserted that the two electronics makers violated video compression technology used in a number of devices. According to Bloomberg the jury trial being heard by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California is directly related to a 2010 complaint filed by the Paris-based technology company’s Multimedia Patent Trust in which both Apple and LG were accused of copying efficient data transmission technology pertaining to videos.
One of the patent trust attorneys, Frederick Lorig, said that “Apple and LG have chosen not to license these patents while 33 other companies have paid over $190 million for these licenses.” Counsel went on to explain that he failed to successfully negotiate a deal with Apple despite having already set licensing terms with Motorola worth roughly $18 million. “Apple sells four times the number of infringing products that Motorola does.” The devices involved according to the suit include the following: Apple's iPhone, iPad, iPod and MacBook lines, as well as LG's Chocolate Touch VX8575, Bliss UX700, Touch AX8575, Lotus Elite LX610, Mystique UN610 and Samba LG8575.
Representatives for Apple and LG countered during their opening statements by saying that MPT had already been paid for the technology in the form of a “pay-as-you-go,” pool of funds. The attorneys are claiming that the trust is making an attempt to extend its patent claims to cover new technology. According to Apple attorney Juanita Brooks, “LG and Apple are not going to pay rent for technology they do not use.”
Apple is accused of currently infringing upon three Alcatel-Lucent patents compared to LG’s two, while MPT is asking for a “reasonable royalty” based on fees it would have been paid prior to the alleged infringement. MPT is looking for undisclosed damages with the possibility of tripling the judgment amount if Apple and LG are found to have infringed willfully as well as the court fees.
The trial is currently scheduled to continue on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. with a conclusion expected to be reached within the next two weeks.