Apple has been hit with another “patent troll” lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas, this time over seven patents related to LTE standards.
Apple announced last week that it will be closing all of its retails stores in the Eastern District of Texas in April, as part of an effort to avoid lawsuits in the jurisdiction, which is seen as being ruling-friendly to “patent troll” lawsuits. Those closures won’t be quick enough to head off this lawsuit.
Ahead of the closures, Apple faces yet more patent litigation in the district. A group of limited liability companies under the Optis Wireless Technology, LLC umbrella filed suit against Apple on Monday in East Texas, accusing the company of infringing on a portfolio of seven patents related to LTE standards.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit all appear to be the usual non-practicing entities designed to generate revenue via patent lawsuits. In other words, “patent trolls.”
The lawsuit alleges all LTE-enabled Apple products – which include various models of the Cupertino firms iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch devices – infringe on the group’s LTE patents. Optis Wireless and the other plaintiffs acquired at least some of the patents from Ericsson, Samsung, LG, and Panasonic.
The group say they sent Apple correspondence in an attempt to license the essential patents to Apple on FRAND terms. They say despite several meetings with Apple representatives, a licensing agreement could not be reached.
The plaintiffs are demanding a jury trial and are seeking the ever-popular “recovery of damages at least in the form of reasonable royalties.”
Prospects for a decision by jury in favor of the plaintiffs are good, as last August saw a jury in the same court decide against Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, saying the company willfully infringed many of the same patents being asserted against Apple. Huawei was ordered to pay $10.6 million in damages.