Following a two-week trial in San Jose, California, a jury reached a verdict Friday afternoon finding that Apple doesn’t infringe a patent own by Emblaze, an Israeli company that sued Apple back in 2010. While the outcome is a clear victory for Apple, the jury declined to invalidate US Patent No. 6,389,473, titled “Network Media Streaming,” which Emblaze said was infringed by Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming protocol. That protocol has been built into Apple products, including iPhones and iPads, since iOS 3.0 was released in 2009. Emblaze accused several HLS-powered streams in Apple devices, including streaming video used by ABC News, ESPN, and sports services like the Professional Golf Association, Major League Baseball, and National Football League. The company also accused Apple Keynotes and the iTunes Festival. The jury didn’t find any of the services infringed. During trial, Emblaze’s lawyers argued that it should get $511 million for Apple’s infringement, for the period up to June 2013.
A federal jury on Friday found Apple did not push app developers to use its proprietary HLS technology for live streaming video to iOS devices, which would have allegedly induced infringement of an Israeli company’s patents. In a verdict handed down by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Apple successfully avoided penalty after being accused of inducing infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,389,473 for live video streaming, which was awarded to embattled audio company Emblaze. With the ‘473 patent granted some ten years prior to the introduction of HLS, Emblaze alleged Apple pushed app developers to use the proprietary format, thereby causing them to infringe on the patent. The trial’s jury found otherwise, saying ABC News, MLB at Bat, WatchESPN and four other apps did not meet the criteria for infringement. Emblaze first sued Apple in 2010 over the Cupertino company’s proprietary HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) video protocol, which has been used to stream video to iOS devices since iOS 3. Asdescribed by Apple, HLS works by slicing live video into segments, converts them into downloadable files and makes them available to client devices. The files can then be downloaded in dynamically variable bitrates depending on network conditions. According to in-court reports from Bloomberg, Apple attorney Mark Fowler argued that Emblaze was simply targeting Apple after failing to find success in the audio hardware market. The Israeli company tried to sell off its intellectual property to other businesses, including telecoms and other tech firms, but was rebuffed in their attempts.