Apple has lost a jury trial in the patent hotspot of East Texas. Late Monday, a jury in Marshall reached a verdict that Apple must pay $23.6 million for infringing patents once owned by a Mississippi pager company. The verdict, while large, is only about 10 percent of what lawyers for Mobile Telecommunications Technology LLC (MTel) were asking for.
According to a Bloomberg report on the case, Mobile Telecommunications was a wireless messaging pioneer in the 1990s when these patents were filed. The patents were used in its SkyTel 2-way paging system. Now, MTel is a licensing company controlled by United Wireless Holdings, which operates the SkyTel paging system for use by first responders and doctors.
“The guys working back then at SkyTel were way ahead of their time,” United Wireless CEO Andrew Fitton told Bloomberg. “This is vindication for all their work.” Fitton is also CEO of Hartmann Capital, a London investment bank.