On Wednesday, a federal jury ordered Apple to pay $532.9 million to Smartflash LLC on claims that the tech tycoon had used the small Texas- based company’s patented software without permission. Smartflash had originally asked for $852 million in damages when they initiated the case in 2013, to which Apple argued the claims were worth $4.5 million at most.
The patents in question relate to data storage and payment management, which Patrick Racz, the co-inventor of the technology, apparently shared with Augustin Farrugia in 2000. Farrugia is now a senior director at Apple. Apple was accused of using the patents to manage apps bought through the iTunes store. Apple plans to seek an appeal.
Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple, says,
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.”
In turn, Smartflash’s lawyer, John Ward of Ward & Smith, said to the jury.
Apple doesn’t respect Smartflash’s inventions… Not a single witness could be bothered with reviewing the patent.”
Smartflash currently has other pending cases against Samsung Electronics Co., Amazon.com Inc., and Google Inc.
Read more here- “Apple Told by Jury to Pay $532.9 Million in Patent Trial,” (Susan Decker and Dennis Robertson, Bloomberg)