Apple Inc pays heavily for Patent infringement, fined $533 million

Smartflash LLC filed lawsuit against Apple Inc for patent infringement,  Apple Inc has been ordered to pay $533 million

Texas based patent licensing firm Smartflash LLC had filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc whose iTune’s was found to be infringing 3 patents owned by Smartflash.

The federal jury of Tyler, Texas found Apple Inc had infringed on three patents owned by Smartflash LLC and hence passed a verdict on Tuesday ordering Apple Inc to pay $532.9 million to Smartflash LLC as repairs for the damages caused. Though Smartflash had been demanding $852.00 million claiming it should have its share in the percentage of sales of Apple products which use the iTunes; it was settled at $533.00 million approximately. Apple would feel this to be a great blow because it was hoping that the lawsuit would be settled for $4.5 million, a figure Apple guessed as fair price for the patents it had violated. Apple believed that the Smartflash patents were invalid because it did not create them.

After an eight hour long trial at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, it was found Apple Inc had willingly used the Smartflash LLC patents without any prior permission. The three patents infringed were related to digital rights management, data storage and managing access through payment systems.

Apple spokesman, Kristin Huguet said: “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.”

Apple said that it strongly feels there should be an amendment in the law for patents systems for companies which do not manufacture any products as that of Smartflash LLC, to restrain from such litigation in future. The case is Smartflash LLC, et al v. Apple, Inc, et al, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, No. 13-cv-447.

While it may get $533 million richer, Smartflash has two more cases in hearing process, one against Samsung Electronics and another against Google.

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