A small business founded by a victim of the Unabomber has been awarded a $625.5 million verdict by a Texas jury. The jurors found that Apple Inc. infringed on three of the business’s patents. The company was created by David Gelernter, a brilliant New York native-turned-Yale University professor and author targeted by the Unabomber in June 1993. The case involved technology commonly used on its enormously popular Macintosh computers, iPods and iPhones.
Apple requested that the trial judge hold off on imposing the payout to the Plaintiff, Mirror Worlds LLC., a small technology company. U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis will hear arguments from both sides before deciding on Apple’s request. The patents involve the well-known Apple technologies Cover Flow, which allows users to easily flip through album covers and other content; Spotlight, used to search the computer hard drive, and Time Machine, which automatically saves copies of files. The lawsuit was filed seven years after Mirror Worlds launched a patented product called Scopeware in 2001.
Among other things, the product organized information in a style similar to Cover Flow. The federal court jury found Apple infringed on all three patents held by Mirror Worlds, awarding the smaller company $208.5 million for each one. Gelernter was blinded in one eye, lost most of his right hand and suffered various other injuries when a book-sized parcel sent by Unabomber Ted Kaczynski exploded 17 years ago in his Yale office. His 1991 book “Mirror Worlds” predated the popularity of the Internet, and predicted the use of computers for real-time, real-world data.
Source: New York Daily News
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