Apple’s copyright protection technology will cost the company dearly. According to Bloomberg, a Marshall, Texas court ordered Apple to pay $ 308.5 million to Personalized Media Communications for allegedly violating a digital rights management (DRM) patent. PMC claimed in 2015 that the FairPlay technology used in the App Store, Apple Music and iTunes infringed seven patents. Apple initially invalidated claims in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but PMC managed to overturn some of those appeal decisions.
Google has foiled a similar PMC case despite Netflix facing an impending battle over a 2019 lawsuit. PMC is a non-practicing company that relies primarily on lawsuits in its business – commonly known as Patent Troll. Companies like this “stifle innovation” and hurt everyday customers, Apple said in a statement.
The tech giant said it was unhappy with the outcome and planned to appeal the ruling.
The decision is unlikely to affect Apple’s use of DRM. However, PMC could use this case to justify targeting other copy protection systems. While this could mark the end of a fight, you could see numerous follow-up lawsuits in the years to come.