A patent infringement court trial began on Tuesday in California, with Alcatel-Lucent’s Multimedia Patent Trust asserting that Apple and LG Electronics violated video compression technology patents used in a number of devices.
The jury trial, being heard by the U.S. District Court for the Southern Distrcit 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 tech pertaining to videos, reports Bloomberg.
Patent trust attorney Frederick Lorig said that Apple and LG chose not to license the patents, while 33 other companies have paid over $190 million for the licenses. He went on to explain that an attempt to negotiate a deal with Apple met with failure.
The suit states that 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, infringe on the trust’s patents.
“The motion pictures you see on your screens are made possible by these patents,” Lorig said. “This technology lets you download in half the time and store twice as much content.”
Lawyers for LG and Apple countered during their opening statements, asserting that MPT had already been paid for the technology from a “pay-as-you-go” pool of funds. They charged that the trust is attempting to extend its patent claims to cover new technology.
Apple attorney Juanita Brooks asked, “Why are we here in this trial? They are trying to get $170 million from Apple. I can think of 170 million reasons they are asking us to pay more than all of the other licensees combined.”
LG’s counsel Michael McKeon chimed in, adding, “What we have here is MPT trying to double dip. It is suing over technology it does not own.”
MPT accuses Apple of infringing on three Alcatel-Lucent patents, while LG is accused of infringing upon two.
The trial is scheduled to continue through the week, and is expected to end within two weeks.