Bloomberg reports that a Texas jury has ordered Apple to pay out $532.9 million in a patent infringement case brought by Smartflash LLC. The company says Apple has used its technology in iTunes without their consent.
Smartflash was initially seeking $852 million, but the court decided that Apple needs to pay slightly more than half a billion dollars. According to Bloomberg, it sees that the patents in question were related to “data storage and managing access through payment systems.”
Susan Decker and Dennis Robertson with the publication reported the following:
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. Apple pledged to appeal.
Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman, also shared the company's viewpoint on the matter:
"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. 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.”
However, it seems that Smartflash isn’t just going after Apple, as the company is reportedly planning to sue Korean smartphone manufacturer Samsung, as well.