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Texas jury orders Apple to pay Smartflash $533 million

An Eastern District of Texas jury has decided Apple infringed three of Smartflash’s patents and ordered the electronics giant to pay $532.9 million in damages

The jury found that Apple infringed one claim each of the ‘720 patent and the ‘221 patent, and two claims of the ‘772 patent. It also found that Smartflash had proved “by clear and convincing evidence that Apple’s infringement was willful”.

Smartflash had asked for $852 million in damages. It originally sued Apple in May 2013 – along with Robot Entertainment, KingsIsle Entertainment and Game Circus – alleging that the iTunes software infringed six patents related to data storage and access systems.

Smartflash said the patents-in-suit cover a portable data carrier for storing data and managing access to the data via payment information and use status rules, and that they were infringed by apps sold through iTunes that require payment functionality to collect payment for additional content.

Reuters quoted Apple saying in a statement: "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.”

In 2014, Apple filed 21 covered business method review petitions challenging Smartflash patents at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Smartflash has also sued Samsung, Amazon and Google.

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