During a court trial in California yesterday, it was alleged that Apple and LG infringed Alcatel-Lucent’s Multimedia Patent Trust. The Paris, France-based company asserts that the two electronics makers violated their video compression technology used in a number of devices. As stated by Frederick Lorig, one of the patent trust attorneys:
The motion pictures you see on your screens are made possible by these patents. This technology lets you download in half the time and store twice as much content.
Apple and LG vs. Alcatel-Lucent
The jury trial, which is being heard by the US District Court of Southern California, is related to a 2010 complained filed by Alcatel-Lucent. It also has something to do with the company’s Multimedia Patent Trust, accusing both Apple and LG of copying their efficient data transmission.
According to Bloomberg, the data transmission technology pertains to videos. As stated by Lorig, “Apple and LG have chosen not to license these patents while 33 other companies have paid over $190 million for these licenses.”
The counsel went on to say that they failed to successfully negotiate a deal with Apple, although they have already set licensing terms with Motorola that is worth around $18 million. Lorig added, “Apple sells four times the number of infringing products that Motorola does.”
Based on the lawsuit, 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 LG875 infringed the trust patents.
Alcatel-Lucent: Extending Patent Claims to Cover New Technology?
On the other hand, Apple and LG countered Alcatel-Lucent’s claims during their opening statements. They’ve pointed out that MPT have already been paid for the technology in a “pay-as-you-go” pool of funds. Their legal representatives even said that the trust is attempting to extend its patent claims to cover new technology. According to Apple’s attorney Juanita Brooks:
LG and Apple are not going to pay rent for technology they do not use. 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, also added, “What we have here is MPT trying to double dip. It is suing over technology it does not own.”
Alcatel-Lucent accuses Apple for infringing three of their patents, while LG has two violations. In addition, MPT is asking for a “reasonable royalty” based on fees they would’ve paid prior to the infringement.