Texas Jury fingers Patent Troll huge $533 Million Damages Award against Apple

Case concerned “information get admission to and storage” and claimed iTunes device infringed.


A federal jury in Texas, the favorite venue of patent litigants, has awarded an IP conserving company, called Smartflash LLC, $532.9 million against Apple. The jury discovered that iTunes infringed the company’s patents regarding  “data storage and access.”

there are a range of patents on the center of the case: 7,334,720, 7,942,317, eight,033,458, 8,061,598, eight,118,221 and eight,336,772. under is the abstract from the 7,334,720 patent:

information storage and get entry to systems are described for downloading and paying for data equivalent to audio and video knowledge, text, instrument, games and different kinds of knowledge. a conveyable knowledge carrier has an interface for sending and receiving data, non-volatile knowledge reminiscence for storing received content material information and non-volatile fee validation reminiscence for providing fee validation data to an exterior instrument. The carrier might also retailer a file of get admission to made to the saved content material, and content use ideas for controlling get entry to to the stored content. preferred embodiments retailer additional get right of entry to keep watch over knowledge and supplementary data akin to sizzling links to web pages and/or promoting information. A complementary knowledge access terminal, information provide computer gadget and information get entry to software are additionally described. the combo of cost knowledge and saved content knowledge and, in most well-liked embodiments, use rule knowledge, helps scale back the chance of unauthorized get entry to to information akin to compressed tune and video data, particularly over the web.

Apple is simply among the defendants, together with Samsung, Amazon and Google, that are on the receiving finish of similar claims. Apple is the primary to get hit with the verdict. the corporate says it’s going to appeal.

The judgment is large enough that Apple may just be encouraged, if vital, to take the case to the us Supreme courtroom. There it may become an get together for additional patent reforms which are presently languishing in Congress. The plaintiff was once in search of royalties on the sales of all iPhones amongst other damages.

It’s not going that the full $533 million damages award will live on on attraction, although the events could settle prior to any judgment on attraction is rendered.

relying on your view of patent litigation, this case either seems to be vindication for a small firm whose patent was willfully infringed or every other example of a parasitic “patent troll” and what’s flawed with all the device. After studying the facts, I consider the case almost definitely falls someplace in the middle — though the damages are excessive.

consistent with earlier reviews, Patrick Sandor Racz, one of the most credited inventors, met in roughly 2000 with an organization that become Gemalto (a maker of SIM playing cards now on the heart of global hacking/spying allegations). certainly one of that company’s worker’s, Augustin Farrugia, reportedly discovered of the tool design and later was hired via Apple.

The expertise that Apple, Google and others have developed for on-line storage and funds is purported to have infringed the patents at issue. The damages are so excessive partially because Apple iTunes gross sales ultimate 12 months have been roughly $18 billion and the jury used a system tied to those revenues in calculating the award.


about the author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a private blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and actual-world client conduct. he’s additionally VP of technique and Insights for the local Search association.
(Some images used beneath license from Shutterstock.com.)


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