This may seem like an absurd question at first since the U.K. is a pretty profitable market, but nevertheless, Apple might be forced to leave the market.
What did the Brits do to piss off Apple? Nothing, the poor buggers. The Cupertino giant might have to take this hard decision due to a patent troll, after having lost a case last month.
Optis Wireless made a claim that won them a whopping $506M award against Apple in the US, before being overturned on appeal. But the dispute didn’t end here.
Optis fought back, winning another case against Apple in the UK; the judge ruled that Apple had infringed two Optis patents which help iPhones connect to 3G and 3G networks. The fees they ought to pay are worth billions!
However, Tim Cook and his team aren’t about to back down. They’re considering leaving the UK entirely if they are being forced to pay $7 billion – a “commercially unacceptable” fee – for tech used in iPhones.
To top it all off, the UK Supreme Court said that the decision regarding the amount of money Apple will pay will apply to global sales, not just UK ones.
As you can imagine, that’s a bitter pill to swallow by Apple, and although it seems unlikely, according to their lawyer the company is refusing to conform and considering getting out of the UK market.
“Apple’s position is it should indeed be able to reflect on the terms and decide whether commercially it is right to accept them or to leave the UK market. There may be terms that are set by the court which are just commercially unacceptable.”, said Marie Demetriou, Apple’s lawyer.