Unabomber Victim Takes $625M Bite Out of Apple

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    Texas jury says Apple should pay Harvard Prof $625.5 million for violating patents

    A Texas jury put the hammer down on Apple computer.

    It ordered Cupertino-based Apple to pay $625.5 million for violating patents owned by a company founded by a Yale University computer science professor.

    If it stands, it would be one of the largest awards ever in a patent lawsuit.  

    The suit actually claimed infringment on three patents related to how files are displayed on the iPod, the iPhone and Macintosh computers. The jury agreed on all three counts.

    Apple is challenging the verdict that came down last Friday, saying the court has not looked at some of its counterclaims.  Apple filed an emergency motion Sunday asking for a stay. It claimed, there are issues with two of the three patents in question. Apple's lawyers also claim it's wrong for the court to award the plaintiff the full judgment for each of the three patents. They called that "triple dipping."

    The Texas jury awarded Mirror Worlds $208.5 million in damages for each of the patents infringed. That adds up to $625 million.

    The Texas judge hasn't formally entered the verdict.

    The company that sued, Mirror Worlds, was founded by Prof. David Gelernter to commercialize many of his ideas.

    This is not the first time Gelernter has been in the news. In 1993, he was critically injured after he opened a mailbomb sent to him by "The Unabomber," Theodore Kaczynski.  Kaczynski, who was violently opposed to technology, was convicted of orchestrating a bombing spree that spanned nearly 20 years, killing three people and injuring nearly two dozen others.

    Gelernter suffered permanent damage to his hand and eye from that attack.