courtroom gavel

Apple on Wednesday defeated a civil suit put forth by GPNE, a non-practicing patent holding company in Honolulu, that was seeking nearly $100 million in damages. The company alleged that three iPhone and iPad models infringed on its pager technology patents.

A jury in the US District Court of San Jose disagreed, and rejected all of patent infringement claims. Apple applauded the verdict, calling GPNE a “patent troll,” a term given to companies who acquire patents for the sole purpose of collecting licensing and lawsuit fees.

Here’s Apple’s full statement, via CNET:

“We are pleased the jury in California saw through GPNE’s attempt to extort money from Apple for 20 year old pager patents that have expired, wasting time for everyone involved. GPNE is a patent troll with no active business other than patent litigation. They have sent more than 300 demand letters in the past year to everyone from truckers and farmers to roofers and dairies threatening costly legal entanglements if these small businesses didn’t pay them off — this isn’t right. Apple invents products that revolutionize industries, and relies upon the U.S. patent system to protect our innovation. We urge congressional leaders to continue focusing on reform in this important area of patent law.”

GPNE originally filed the lawsuit in 2011, claiming Apple, Nokia and several other tech companies were infringing on two of its patents related to technology for communicating across cellular networks. GPNE told the jury it wanted Apple to pay $94 million in damages.

[CNET]