Judge overturns $625 million Apple patent award

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Texas judge has overturned a $625 million patent infringement award against Apple Inc, saying the jury erred in finding the maker of Mac computers used technology owned by Mirror Worlds LLC illegally.

Mirror Worlds had argued that several features on Apple’s computers — Spotlight, Cover Flow and Time Machine — used its own patented software for archiving and displaying documents.

A jury in federal court in Tyler, Texas — which often handles complex patent cases — last year found that Apple infringed three of Mirror Worlds’ patents, awarding the company $208.5 million for each patent, or $625.5 million overall.

Apple appealed the verdict, and the court on Monday granted its request to strike the award, saying Mirror Worlds did not provide enough evidence in the trial.

“Mirror Worlds may have painted an appealing picture for the jury, but it failed to lay a solid foundation sufficient to support important elements it was required to establish under the law,” said federal judge Leonard Davis in the ruling.

He also denied Apple’s request for a new trial.

Apple did not reply to a request for comment. Mirror Worlds could not immediately be reached.

The case is 6:08-cv-00088-LED in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler division.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Gary Hill)

Judge overturns $625 million Apple patent award