Apple hit with half billion patent infringement verdict

By David Yates | Feb 25, 2015

A Texas jury levied a $532,900,000 verdict against Apple on Tuesday, finding the tech giant infringed on three patents owned by a Tyler company.

As previously reported, Smartflash filed suit against Apple on May 29, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, Marshall Division.

In its original complaint, Smartflash accused Apple of infringing on several patents for data storage and managing access to the data via payment information, including:

- U.S. Patent No. 7,334,720 issued Feb. 26, 2008;

- U.S. Patent No. 7,942,317 issued May 17, 2011;

- U.S. Patent No. 8,033,458 issued Oct. 11, 2011;

- U.S. Patent No. 8,061,598 issued Nov. 22, 2011;

- U.S. Patent No. 8,118,221 issued Feb. 21, 2012; and

- U.S. Patent No. 8,336,772 issued Dec. 25, 2012.

At trial, the jury found Apple’s infringement of the ‘720, ‘221 and ‘772 patents was willful and that the defendant failed to prove the patents were invalid.

The patents in question related to software used in Apple’s iTunes Store.

Apple issued the following statement after the trial:

“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.”

Currently, members of Congress are attempting to revive the Innovation Act – a bill aimed at reducing frivolous patent litigation by regulating the companies that buy up patents for the purpose of suing.

Smartflash is represented by Bradley W. Caldwell, Jason D. Cassady, John Austin Curry, Daniel R. Pearson and Hamad M. Hamad of Caldwell Cassady Curry P.C. in Dallas; and T. John Ward and T. John Ward Jr. of Ward & Smith Law Firm in Longview.

Case No. 6:13-cv-00447

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