Apple slapped with $625.5 million patent fine

Poor old Apple has been hit with a $625.5 million bill for infringing patents with its Cover Flow technology - a faux three-dimensional graphical user interface used in iTunes.

A Texan court decided ideas used in Cover Flow infringe on patents held by Mirror Worlds LLC, not once but thrice and hit the firm with a bill for $208.5 million per patent.

If Apple fails in its wranglings, it would make the ruling the fourth most expensive patent punishment in history.

Mirror World launched the suit at Apple in 2008, claiming infringement on three patents awarded to Yale professor David Gelernter in 1999.

Apple isn't happy about the ruling - funnily enough - and has asked for a stay of execution, claiming that the triple-barrelled punishment is over the top.

Apple's legal team claims the patents were last sold for $5 million, and so even if the court thinks it did infringe any of them - which it also denies - the punishment is excessive.

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