SAN FRANCISCO — A patent assertion entity that stiffed its lawyers at McKool Smith won’t get a penny out of Apple Inc.

On the third day of deliberations, a federal jury in San Jose found that Apple did not infringe a patent asserted by Golden Bridge Technology, a nonpracticing entity based in New Jersey. Jurors rejected Golden Bridge’s claims that the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and a second-generation model of the iPad infringed its patent for an aspect of the 3G technology through which cellphones connect with base stations. However, the jury rejected Apple’s bid to invalidate the patent.

McKool Smith partner Lawrence Hadley declined to comment on the verdict. Cooley partner Timothy Teter, who represented Apple, did not respond to a request for comment. Apple and Golden Bridge did not immediately respond to requests for comment either.

McKool Smith had an uneasy relationship with the New Jersey-based patent assertion entity. In March, the firm moved to withdraw from the case, citing the client’s unpaid bills. But U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal denied the motion, finding that trial was approaching too soon.

Grewal dealt McKool Smith another setback on the eve of trial, ruling that Golden Bridge’s damages expert, Karl Schulze, could not testify because his report improperly relied on Apple’s licenses with other companies. That meant McKool Smith’s case for damages was limited to fact witnesses.

But after a two-week trial, the Texas-based firm will soon be able to cut its losses. The parties entered into a stipulation earlier this month that the firm may withdraw from the case after the end of the trial.

Golden Bridge is a prolific patent plaintiff, with suits pending against Motorola Mobility, Samsung Electronics Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., among other companies, according to the analytics firm Lex Machina.

Contact the reporter at jlove@alm.com.