The suit was brought by Opi, Inc. and was over Opi'd patented Predictive Snooping of cached memory. Opti obtained the patent in 2002 and filed the suit in 2007.
Apple had argued that the Opti patent was based on prior art and obvious. They asked that the case be thrown out but the jury did not feel the same way and found Apple guilty in the end.
Apple will have to shell out $19 million to Opti for the infringement.
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The patent-its full name is "Predictive snooping of cache memory for master-initiated accesses"-describes a method to more efficiently transfer data among the CPU, memory, and "other devices." The patent was issued to Opti in June of 2002, and the company filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in January of 2007 (which we briefly mentioned in a Friday Apple links post that week).
Apple had acknowledged that it used similar technology, but argued unsuccessfully that the patent should be declared invalid due to prior art and obviousness. Much to Apple's dismay, the jury didn't buy it. They ended up rejecting Apple's claims and found the company guilty of willful patent infringement, awarding Opti $19,009,728 as a "reasonable royalty for infringement." We sincerely hope some lawyer uses that extra $8 to buy a nice coffee or something.
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