In March of this year, Apple was ordered to pay $308.5m (about £223m) for infringing on a DRM patent owned by Personalized Media Communications (PMC). At the time, Apple said it was disappointed by the decision and intended to appeal.
Interestingly, this was not the first appeal in the case. The original ruling at the US Patent Office went in Apple’s favour, but a March 2020 appeal took the dispute to court.
Now Bloomberg reports that Apple will not have to pay the damages, as District Judge Rodney Gilstrap has ruled that PMC deliberately delayed its patent applications in order to milk technology companies for more money.
“The course of conduct undertaken by PMC constitutes an unreasonable delay and an abuse of the statutory patent system,” Gilstrap wrote. He added that PMC “shall take nothing” and will instead have to cover some of Apple’s legal costs.
PMC accused Apple of infringing on seven of its patents, including one related to FairPlay, which is used to distribute encrypted content via iTunes, the App Store and Apple Music.
In the past, PMC has also tried to get money from Google, YouTube and Netflix using a similar strategy.
This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation (using DeepL) and additional reporting by David Price.