Jury orders Apple to pay $532.9 million for infringing gaming patents

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 25 Feb 2015

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Apple has lost a court battle against Smartflash LLC, which accused the former of using its patented inventions in iTunes without its permission. The Texas jury ruled the case in Smartflash’s favor and has ordered Apple to pay $532.9 million in damages. 

Smartflash LLC has sued Apple over its inventions relating to “data storage and managing access through payment systems.” The company claimed that iTunes used the “inventions in applications such as Game Circus LLC’s Coin Dozer and 4 Pics 1 Movie.”

Smartflash LLC was seeking $852 million in charges for infringing three of its patents, but the Texas jury only decided to award them $532.9 million in damages. The LLC had argued that it was eligible to receive a percentage of sales of all of Apple devices, including the iPhone, Mac, iPad and iPods.

“Apple doesn’t respect Smartflash’s inventions,” the company’s lawyer, John Ward of Ward & Smith in Longview, Texas, told the jury. “Not a single witness could be bothered with reviewing the patent.”

Apple had argued that the inventions were not worth more than $4.5 million, and that the company’s royalty demands were “excessive and unsupportable.” It also argued that SmartFlash did not have complete control over the infringed patents and it has taken too long to file a suit.

Smartflash LLC does not make any product or sells any services. Its sole source of income is licensing the seven patents that it has under its belt and earn money through them. The company has already sued Samsung, Google, and Amazon over patent infringement.

[Via Bloomberg]