Apple makes excellent progress in bid to squelch $533 million verdict

“Apple Inc. has succeeded in getting two additional Smartflash LLC patents invalidated, bringing it closer to escaping a $533 million patent verdict,” Susan Decker reports for Bloomberg.

“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on May 26 invalidated two of three patents owned by Smartflash, which won the award after a jury trial against the iPhone maker in February 2015,” Decker reports. “A three-judge panel at the patent agency found that the two patents never should have been issued in the first place because the idea of storing and paying for data is an abstract concept, not a specific invention. In March, the agency said the same thing about a third Smartflash patent.”

Decker reports, “The ruling, however, doesn’t end the case. Smartflash can ask the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to reconsider and, if that doesn’t work, file an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote in February 2015:

Once a real court gets it, [the] rocket docket jury’s mistake will be overturned on appeal.

On heels of $532.9 million verdict, Apple hit with second lawsuit from Smartflash – February 27, 2015
Apple plays the odds for overturning rocket docket’s $533 million verdict – February 26, 2015
Rocket docket jury orders Apple ordered to pay $532.9 million in patent trial; Apple to appeal – February 25, 2015


        1. McDruid, it’s not just a question of money.

          The USPTO needs to hire enough examiners with qualifications in their specific areas (advanced degrees AND years of experience) in order to properly review the patent applications and know about prior art.

          The sad thing is that I recently reviewed a patent application for a friend before he submitted it. He had ZERO prior art references in the application. His premise was that his concept was TRULY UNIQUE and therefore there could not be any relevant prior art. I told him, in a word, “Bullshit.” Nothing is so unique that nothing even close has been mentioned somewhere at some time. I made him go do a proper search and explain in the application why every somewhat similar, prior thing was deficient with regard to his patent.

          The scary thing is that he said he’s filed several other patent applications with absolutely zero prior art listed in them AND HAD THOSE PATENTS ISSUED.

          The fact that this kind of thing happens is just too scary for words. It really is one of the main things that keeps patent trolls alive and well fed.

        2. Agreed! – I realized I was typing out a Catch 22 scenario above. Drain them of funds for awarding bogus patents and their ability to research patents is further compromised. Not a good thing.

          What’s required is for the corporatocracy powers-that-be in DC to retain enough brain cells to realize one of their top priorities MUST be a strong, efficient, competent USTPO. They don’t qualify as an ‘entitlement’, etc. They’re supposed to be one of the cornerstones of US business. At this point they’re a crumbled pile of rubble supporting not much of anything.

  1. “Once the fighting over validity and infringement is done, if Smartflash wins at that stage, then the case still has to go back to trial. Apple had already won a new trial on the damages amount after the trial judge was found to have given “skewed” instructions to jurors.”


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