“Apple Inc. was told to pay $532.9 million after a federal jury said the company’s iTunes software used a Texas company’s patented inventions without permission,” Susan Decker and Dennis Robertson report for Bloomberg. “Closely held Smartflash LLC, which claimed that Apple infringed three patents, was seeking $852 million in damages, while Apple said it was worth $4.5 million at most. A federal jury in Tyler, Texas, where Smartflash is based, on Tuesday rejected Apple’s arguments that it didn’t use the inventions and that the patents were invalid.”
“The dispute is over digital rights management and inventions related to data storage and managing access through payment systems. Smartflash claimed that iTunes used the inventions in applications such as Game Circus LLC’s Coin Dozer and 4 Pics 1 Movie,” Decker and Robertson report. “Apple pledged to appeal. ‘Smartflash makes no products, has no employees, creates no jobs, has no U.S. presence, and is exploiting our patent system to seek royalties for technology Apple invented,’ said Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman. ‘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.'”
“Cupertino, California-based Apple attacked every aspect of Smartflash’s case. It said the patents were invalid and weren’t infringed. It said Smartflash didn’t have complete control of the patents and waited too long to file suit. It also argued that Smartflash’s royalty demands were ‘excessive and unsupportable,'” Decker and Robertson report. “‘They are not just invalid, they are invalid many times over,’ James Batchelder a lawyer at Ropes & Gray in East Palo Alto, California, who is representing Apple, told the jury.'”
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MacDailyNews Take: Once a real court gets it, this rocket docket jury’s mistake will be overturned on appeal.