iPhones found to infringe pager tech, Apple ordered to pay $23.6M in damages

iPhone 6 Plus (in hand 003)

Bloomberg is reporting this morning that Apple’s iPhone and other devices have been found to infringe half a dozen pager technology patents owned by a Texas company called Mobile Telecommunications Technologies LLC.

Six patents owned by Mobile Telecommunications Technologies are valid and infringed, a federal jury in Marshall, Texas, has found.

The iPhone maker was ordered to pay the Texas company $23.6 million in damages.

Deron Dacus of the Dacus Firm in Tyler, Texas, who represents Mobile Telecommunications, told the jury in closing arguments that “Apple is refusing to acknowledge the contributions of others,” adding that “this case is about fairness.”

The patent infringement lawsuit targeted Apple’s iMessage service, the Airport Express, Airport Extreme and Time Capsule wireless appliances and mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Mobile Telecommunications is behind SkyTel, a two-way paging system that was all the rage in the 1990s. The SkyTel network has remained operational to this date and is still used for emergency by doctors and first responders.

“The guys working back then at SkyTel were way ahead of their time,” said Andrew Fitton, chief executive officer of United Wireless. “This is vindication for all their work.”

Earlier this month, the iPhone maker successfully deflected a California civil suit put forth by GPNE, a non-practicing patent holding company in Honolulu, which sought nearly $100 million in damages over an alleged infringement of its pager technology patents.

Regarding that case, Apple in a statement called GPNE a patent troll and called the lawsuit an “attempt to extort money from Apple for 20 year old pager patents that have expired, wasting time for everyone involved.”