According to Marie Demetriou, a lawyer representing American tech major Apple in its latest patent infringement row, the company could likely pull out its operations in the United Kingdom.
The claim was made in the middle of a £5 billion ($7 billion) lawsuit over patent infringement. As per Demetriou, if Apple was forced to make payment of the commercially unacceptable amount for the technology utilized in its iPhones, it could leave the UK market.
As per Justice Meade, the Judge in charge of Intellectual Properties in the United Kingdom and the Chancellor of the High Court, there is no proof of the possibility that Apple will withdraw from the UK market.
In response, Apple’s lawyer stated that the company’s position is that it should indeed be capable of reflecting on the terms and deciding whether commercially it is apt to accept them or to quit the UK market. There could be terms that are set by the court which are not commercially acceptable, added the lawyer.
Back in June 2021, a judge ruled that Apple had violated two Optis Cellular Technology-held patents as it refused the payment of a licence fee on technology that assisted its phones in connecting to 4G and 3G networks. Optis, which purchased the LTE patents for effectively making claims like this, had already won a legal row against Apple in the United States. However, it was overturned upon appeal.
As per sources, while it is highly unlikely that Apple will follow through on its threat for withdrawing from the United Kingdom, the implication is clear. The company does not want to be compelled by the court for the payment of the huge sum of money.
Representing Optis, EIP Legal’s Kathleen Fox Murphy, stated that everyone thinks that Apple is the industry leader in smartphones. However, the tech company has to purchase in most of the technology used in an iPhone.