• Kyodo

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The Intellectual Property High Court on Thursday ordered Apple Inc. of the United States to pay some ¥330 million in damages to a Japanese inventor for infringing on a patent involving its iPod music player.

The ruling follows a Tokyo District Court order last September that ordered Apple to pay about ¥330 million to Norihiko Saito, 57, for violating his patent endorsed in 2006 on technology for the Click Wheel controller. Apple has used the technology for the music player in Japan since 2004.

Saito had sought ¥10 billion in damages, arguing that the patent his company applied for in 1998 covers the technology for the Click Wheel controller.

In the court battle, Apple maintained that Saito’s patent was nothing new, noting that similar patents were authorized before 1998.

The Click Wheel combines a circle touch sensor with multiple buttons for single-hand operation, including music title selection and fast-forwarding.

The patent disputes between Apple and the inventor began when Saito applied with Tokyo Customs for an injunction against iPod imports over the alleged patent breach in 2007.

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