CoverFlow is the centerpiece Apple products. It’s how Mac users view documents, music, videos–most every type of file on its laptops and mobile devices. In 2008, however, Apple was hit with patent infringement lawsuit by Mirror Worlds LLC, a firm claiming ownership of the sleek visual file view. And last week, a jury ordered Apple pay as much as $625.5 million to Mirror Worlds, a verdict that Apple is now challenging over “triple dipping.”
When Mirror Worlds first filed suit against Apple, it claimed the company’s Mac, iPhone, and iPod devices were in violation of three patents related to CoverFlow. Since losing the verdict last week, Apple has asked for an emergency stay and claimed that if Mirror Worlds was able to collect the $208.5 million for each of the patents, it would be tantamount to “triple dipping.”
Apple said it has challenged the verdict “in light of counsel for Mirror Worlds’ erroneous and objectionable suggestion that, among other things, damages should be cumulative while at the same time suggesting that Mirror Worlds was not ‘triple-dipping.’” Apple has also challenged the validity of and raised objections to two of the three patent infringement decisions.
U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis is now considering Apple’s request. According to Bloomberg, if Davis were to grant the request, the damages of $417 million from two of the three patents would be stricken.
Until that decision is delivered, it does appear that Mirror Worlds, founded by Yale professor David Gelernter, will be awarded at least $208.5 million. Outside his tech endeavors, Gelernter is known for being seriously injured in 1993, when he opened a mailbomb sent by Unabomber Ted Kaczynski which permanently damaged his right hand and eye.
After surviving the ordeal, a countersuit from Apple must feel like a mere walk in the park.