US Jury Orders Meta To Pay $174.5M Over Patent Violation

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A U.S. jury has ordered Meta to pay over $174.5 million for violating live-streaming patents developed by a US Army veteran seeking to fix shortcomings in battlefield communications.

The trial was made on Wednesday after a Juror in Texas federal court found the social media giant guilty of violating the two-live streaming patent of Facebook-live and Instagram-live of Voxer, a company co-founded by Tom Katis.

Katis said, he had raised the issue of patent infringement during a chance meeting with a senior product manager of Facebook Live in 2016, but according to the court document Meta declined to enter any agreement regarding its continued use of Voxer’s technology.

When his combat unit was ambushed in Kunar province, he felt that the systems for coordinating reinforcements, medical evacuations, and more “were ill-suited for time-sensitive communications with multiple groups in a highly disruptive environment,” the complaint said.

However, according to court filings, it was stated that Meta had approached Voxer to collaborate which was declined. This made Meta see Voxer as a competitor.

Katis had reenlisted in the army after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and served as a Special Forces communications sergeant in Afghanistan, court filings said.

Meta however says it will appeal the decision.

“We believe the evidence at trial demonstrated that Meta did not infringe Voxer’s patents”

“We intend to seek further relief, including filing an appeal,” a spokesperson said in response to an AFP inquiry.

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