Apple is challenging a ruling made last week by a jury in Tyler, Texas, declaring the computer giant had infringed upon a patent by a small technology company called Mirror Worlds. The ruling orders Apple to pay $208.5 million to each of three separate patents - making the total of $625.5 million one of the largest in patent lawsuit history.
Mirror Worlds filed the suit in 2008, arguing that Apple's Cover Flow, Time Machine and Spotlight software plugins were all in violation of Mirror Worlds patents created as far back as the early 2000s. The infringed patent, Scopeware, cycles through a collection of on-screen index cards that contain emails, pages and other documents - a very similar feature to Apple's Cover Flow music organization plugin.
"(It’s) not because of the money, but because of the deliberate failure to acknowledge work that we would have made freely available as academics,” said Mirror Worlds founder David Gelernter to the blog BigThink. “We’d like to see credit where credit is due.”
Gelernter is also a computer science professor at Yale University, and released a book in 1991 that essentially predicted the coming wave of computer technology in which data could be instantly accessed from around the world.
Apple is objecting to the jury's ruling, citing dispute with its estimation of damages as a primary concern.