Apple Threatens to Leave UK Market Due to $7 Billion Patent Dispute

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Lawyers representing Apple have suggested that the company could exit the UK market if the terms of an ongoing patent dispute are "commercially unacceptable" (via This is Money).

UK patent holder Optis Cellular Technology is suing Apple for patent infringement after it refused to pay license fees worth around $7 billion for using "standardized" smartphone technology in its devices.

Last month, a British High Court judge ruled that Apple had infringed two Optis patents relating to technology that enables devices to connect to cellular networks. Optis has also made a number of additional claims about patent infringements from Apple. Kathleen Fox Murphy, a lawyer representing Optis, commented that "everyone thinks about Apple as the market leader in smartphones, but Apple has to buy in most of the technology in an iPhone."

Optis Cellular Technology and its sister companies, PanOptis, Optis Wireless Technology, Unwired Planet, and Unwired Planet International, are non-practicing entities that hold patents and generate revenue through patent litigation, otherwise known as patent trolls.

Last year, a Texas court fined Apple $506 million for willfully infringing on a handful of PanOptis patents related to 4G LTE technology.

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