The last time I checked, which was a few months back, Apple had a capitalisation of around $603 billion. That’s not a small value by any stretch of the imagination. Even so, when a company such as Apple lose in a court case, it’s going to hurt the pocket a bit. This was the case last week when Apple were told pay a rather large amount of damages totalling $533m (£343m) after a jury in Texas found that iTunes has infringed three patents. Apple says they are going to appeal the decision.
The jury took eight hours of deliberation to reach their final decision and in the end they found the world’s most-valuable company intentionally used Smartflash’s patents without their prior permission. Smartflash has also filed lawsuits regarding patent infringements against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, HTC Corp and Google Inc.
Because of Apple’s patent infringement, Smartflash were asking for damages of $852m (£549m). An Apple spokesman said: “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.”
This particular case began back in May 2013 when Smartflash sued Apple, making allegations that iTunes software infringed upon patents that were relating to accessing and storing downloaded media including music, games and movies.
Apple, of course, tried to have the court case thrown out, but a judge had made the ruling that Smartflash’s technology was not too basic to deserve the patents. Apple’s legal team then asked the jury to find Smartflash’s patents invalid because inventions that were previously patented covered the same technologies.
A lawyer for Smartflash, Brad Caldwell, said, “Smartflash is very happy with the jury’s verdict, which recognises Apple’s longstanding wilful infringement.”
It appears as though Tyler in Texas has become a main focus for patent litigation. It was also in the city of Tylers’ federal court that a jury had ordered the Cupertino giant to pay $368m (£237m) to VirnetX Inc for a patent infringement back in 2012.
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