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Apple ordered to pay $533 million for patent infringement

A federal judge has ordered Apple to pay $535 million over a patent infringement.

The jury in the case deliberated for eight hours before delivering their guilty verdict to the Tyler, Texas judge.

They agreed Apple’s iTunes software infringed on three patents owned by Smartflash LLC and that the company knowingly and willingly used the patents without permission.

Smartflash was initially seeking a judgment for $852 million.

Apple has already said they will appeal the verdict stating, “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”.

Their appeal stems from what they say, is the reason additional reforms are needed in the patent system, which is to curb litigation by companies who do not actually make the products.

They tried to avoid a trial by having the lawsuit thrown out saying Smartflash’s technology was previously patented inventions which covered the same technology. However, US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap disagreed, ruling Smartflash’s technology deserved the patents because the technology was not basic.

Smartflash sued Apple in May 2013 for patent infringement, specifically Apple’s iTunes software that allows the storing and accessing of downloaded games, music and videos.

Brad Caldwell, a lawyer for Smartflash, said, “Smartflash is very happy with the jury’s verdict, which recognizes Apple’s longstanding willful infringement.”

Back in early 2000, co-inventor of Smartflash’s patents, Patrick Racz, met with the now European sim card maker, Gemalto SA. In that meeting was Augustin Farrugia, the current senior director at Apple.


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