Apple told to pay $308.5 million over digital rights management patent

Music app on Mac
Music app on Mac (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has been ordered to pay more than $300 million to Personalized Media Communications.
  • A federal jury in Texas decided Apple had infringed on a digital rights management patent held by the company.

Apple must pay more than $300 million to Personalized Media Communications after a Texas federal jury found it infringed one of its patents.

From Bloomberg:

Apple must pay $308.5 million to closely held Personalized Media Communications after a federal jury in Marshall, Texas, decided on Friday that the tech giant infringed a patent related to digital rights management. Personalized Media had sued claiming Apple infringed its patent with technology including FairPlay, which is used for the distribution of encrypted content from its iTunes, App Store and Apple Music applications. One expert for Sugar Land, Texas-based Personalized Media had calculated Apple owed $240 million in royalties. After a five-day trial, the jurors in Texas ordered Apple to pay a running royalty, which is generally dependent on the level of sales or usage.

Apple plans to appeal the ruling, so no money will change hands just yet. Bloomberg reports that Apple said it was "disappointed" by the ruling, stating "Cases like this, brought by companies that don't make or sell any products, stifle innovation and ultimately harm consumers."

The US patent Trial and Appeal board had previously ruled the patent was invalid, but this ruling was overturned by a U.S. appeals court last year, with the case going for trial this week.

The patent relates to digital rights management and is used by Apple in services like Apple Music to distribute encrypted content to users.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9