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Apple drops appeal of $21.7 million patent suit against OPTi

TJ Luoma, @tjluoma

Another great day for the patent trolls: Apple has decided to stop throwing good money after bad in its case against OPTi, which has been awarded a US$21.7 million settlement, according to AppleInsider.

AppleInsider explains that the patent was for "predictive snooping" of "memory caches that speed the flow of data between a system's memory and processor." I have only a vague idea of what that even means, but apparently OPTi has decided that suing people is better than actually working for a living. AppleInsider says OPTi stopped being a manufacturing business and became a "full time patent-suing operation in 2003." OPTi's found a court that is happy to award patent trolls; Apple seems to have decided that enough is enough, and it will be cheaper to just pay OPTi rather than risk additional financial penalties.

It seems like each week we hear of another company that has decided to roll the dice in court to try to make a profit off of an idea, regardless of how obvious an idea it might be, because "they had it first." I'm no lawyer, and I don't even play one on TV, but it seems like this sort of thing was almost unheard of even a few years ago. Now it's commonplace. AppleInsider also noted "Apple has been the most-sued technology company since 2008." A decade ago you couldn't read an article about Apple without the word "beleaguered," but since they've turned things around and started to make significant profits, I guess they have a target on their backs.

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