Apple Wins Smartphone Patent Trial

Apple won a patent infringement trial after being sued by a man who said he came up with the idea for a smartphone.

Inventor Richard Ditzik filed the smartphone patent in 1997, but his claim was rejected by a Los Angeles jury, according to Bloomberg News. The 70-year-old inventor owns NetAirus Technologies, the plaintiff in the suit against Apple, and owns a patent for a handheld device that combines computer and wireless communications.

One juror, George Escarrega, 50, voted in favor of the inventor for two of the four questions because there "was and aspect to the case that Apple was this giant crushing the little guy," he told Bloomberg News. However, he also said that the instructions for the case were "black and white" about the patent matching the claims. "We  all looked at it and found it just didn't," he said.

The jury deadlocked on the case Monday and couldn't reach a unanimous verdict. Lawyers agreed to a majority vote and jury members voted in favor of Apple. Damages still have not been reached.

While many may have worried about the victory of a vague patent dunning one of the biggest tech companies in the world, the complaint proved to have little merit. The trial itself took less than two weeks, which may mean there was little in the complaint that wasn't "black and white," to use Escarrega's words.
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