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Apple ordered to pay $532.9 million in patent infringement case

Apple ordered to pay $532.9 million in patent infringement case

Apple In Court
February 25, 2015

Apple has had yet another day in court, and this time it did not work out the way they hoped it would. According to BloombergBusiness, a federal jury in Tyler, Texas, deliberated for eight hours before finding that Apple’s iTunes software infringed three patents owned by patent licensing firm Smartflash LLC. The jury determined that Apple had not only used patents owned by Smartflash without permission, but did so willfully. The jury awarded damages to Smartflash to the tune of $532.9 million.

In Smartflash’s legal action against Apple, the patent licensing firm had been asking for $852 million in damages, but Tuesday night’s verdict was still a blow to Apple. Apple intends to appeal the verdict, claiming that the outcome is another reason for reform in the patent system to curb litigation by companies that don’t actually make products themselves.

In a statement, Apple said, “We refused to pay off this company for the ideas our employees spent years innovating and unfortunately we have been left with no choice but to take this fight up through the court system.”

Back in May 2013, Smartflash sued Apple, alleging that Apple’s iTunes software infringed on its patents related to accessing and storing downloaded songs, videos, and games. Apple tried to avoid the trial by having the lawsuit dismissed, but presiding U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap ruled that Smartflash’s technology was not too basic to deserve the patents.

Smartflash has also filed similar patent infringement lawsuits against Samsung, HTC, and Google. The case is Smartflash LLC, et al v. Apple, Inc, et al, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, No. 13-cv–447.

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