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Apple faces jury in video compression patent case

Apple and LG are accused of copying Alcatel-Lucent's video-compression technology

Apple is in the dock again, this time accused of infringing a video compression technology patent.

Apple and LG Electronics are both accused of copying Alcatel-Lucent's video-compression technology that allows data to be sent over communications media, such as the internet and satellites, or stored on optical media. The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by the Paris-based company's Multimedia Patent Trust, writes Business Week.

Attorney Frederick Lorig told the San Diego jury: "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 have chosen not to license these patents while 33 other companies have paid over $190 million for these licenses," he claimed.

According to Lorig, the trust Apple refused to negotiate a license "even though a company as prominent as Motorola is paying $18 million to license the patents. And Apple sells four times the number of infringing products that Motorola does."

Apple's attorney Juanita Brooks said: "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 Electronics attorney Michael McKeon claimed: "MPT trying to double dip. It is suing over technology it does not own." The trial is expected to take about two weeks.

In August 2011 Microsoft was ordered to pay $70 million to Alcatel-Lucent following a years-old patent dispute that at one time could have cost Microsoft $1.5 billion. A jury in San Diego issued the verdict in a lawsuit that accused Microsoft of violating patents in several products including Outlook.

Back in March this year we reported that Alcatel-Lucent had said that its OpenTouch Conversation software that allows enterprise users to switch among different ways of communicating - including instant messaging, voice calls and video conferencing - without interrupting their conversations would be available on Apple's iPad. At the time Alcatel-Lucent said it intended to make the OpenTouch Conversation client app available on iPhones, Macs, Windows PCs as well as Android-based tablets and smartphones based on both Android and BlackBerry OS.

Follow Karen Haslam on Twitter / Follow MacworldUK on Twitter

Related:

Alcatel-Lucent lets iPads go from IM to voice and video without hanging up

Alcatel-Lucent gets $70 million in Microsoft patent case

Apple asks court to add new Samsung products to patent suit

Samsung accuses recent Apple products of infringing its patents

Apple and Google 'ready to seek arbitration on patent case'

Apple now owns 1,024 Nortel patents, ready to sue infringers


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