Apple has agreed to pay $25 million to settle a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Network-1 Technologies, which was suing over a patent from 1999 that basically just describes a simple file system function. "The present invention relates to an operating system in which documents are stored in a chronologically ordered 'stream,'" the patent begins.
Apple gets additional patent licenses out of the deal
The patent originated at Yale in 1996. Its creator then founded a company called Mirror Worlds, which began a long-running and expensive lawsuit against Apple. That lawsuit — involving this very same patent — resulted in a $625 million judgement, which was later overturned. The patent then was sold to Network-1, which followed up with a new lawsuit. That's the one being settled today.
As part of the settlement, Apple is also receiving licenses to other Network-1 patents. That's likely a precautionary measure to avoid additional litigation from Network-1. Microsoft recently paid $4.6 million to end a lawsuit over the same patent at hand today. Apple declined to comment.
Correction July 8th, 7:15PM ET: The Supreme Court did not overturn the earlier patent case, as this article initially stated; it denied review, leaving intact a ruling overturning the judgement.