Patent Troll Has A Win: Court Orders Apple To Pay $532m
Apple immediately announced plans to appeal and said the case shows the need for Congress to reform the US patent system.
The case involves three patents that Smartflash claims to hold for software used in storing data files and managing access through an online payment system.
The outcome will add fuel to the broader debate over the federal patent system and complaints that it’s easily abused by patent trolls: ie, shelf companies that buy up masses of patents in the hope of scoring revenue through lawsuits.
The iTunes case was held in Tyler, Texas, which has become a hotspot for patent lawsuits because juries there tend to support the plaintiffs in patent cases.
Said Apple in a media statement following the court decision: “Smartflash makes no products, has no employees, creates no jobs, has no US 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.”