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Apple wins appeal in Time Machine, Cover Flow patent ruling

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US District Judge Leonard Davis threw out a US$625.5 million patent infringement verdict against Apple involving its Cover Flow, Time Machine and Spotlight technology for the Mac.

In 2008, Mirror Worlds filed a patent infringement lawsuit accusing Apple of infringing on four of the company's patents for a "document stream operating system" and its associated information management system. The lawsuit cited Apple's Cover Flow interface, its backup application Time Machine and its search application Spotlight. Mirror Worlds received its four patents before it disbanded in 2003.

In October 2010, a judge in East Texas Federal Court sided with Mirror Worlds and awarded the now defunct company $625.5 million in damages ($208.5 million per patent). Apple appealed this ruling and argued that Mirror Worlds' patents were invalid because the company failed to cite prior art and filed the patents incorrectly.

The Texas judge disagreed with Apple's patent claims and upheld Mirror Worlds' patents as valid. In a decision favorable to Apple, however, he ruled that Apple was not liable for damages. Mirror Worlds apparently failed to prove Apple used the same underlying technology for its implementation of Cover Flow, Time Machine and Spotlight. Without this "requisite foundational support," the original lawsuit award was rejected and Apple no longer has to pony up the cash.

[Via Ars Techinca]

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