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Smartflash Hits Apple With Second Lawsuit After Winning $533 Million Verdict

itunesiconJust one day after Apple was ordered to pay a $532.9 million settlement to Smartflash LLC for infringing upon its patented technologies, the Texas-based patent licensing firm has sued the Cupertino-based company a second time over the same patents (via Reuters). The new lawsuit covers Apple products that were introduced after the original case was filed, including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2.
"Smartflash filed the complaint to address products that came out too far into the last proceedings to have been included," Smartflash's attorney, Brad Caldwell, told Reuters on Thursday. "Apple cannot claim they don’t know about these patents or understand that they are infringing. A diligent jury has already rejected those arguments."
The new lawsuit was filed in the same Tyler, Texas district court on Wednesday night, only hours after a federal jury found Apple guilty in the original trial. Apple plans to appeal the decision in the original lawsuit under the belief that the patents are invalid. The patented technologies relate to digital rights management for downloaded songs, videos and games.
“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,” said Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman. “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.”
Smartflash LLC fits the definition of a so-called "patent troll," which is generally considered to be a company that licenses patents but does not sell any products or services based on the inventions. The small company has also filed similar lawsuits against Samsung Electronics, Google and Amazon in recent months over the same patents. The new lawsuit against Apple was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Tags: lawsuit, patent


Top Rated Comments

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21 months ago
what a joke
Rating: 19 Votes
21 months ago
The size of the verdict made me actually laugh in open court today.

No way Apple ends up paying half a billion dollars for something like this.

----------

Good for Smartflash!


Signed, an employee or stakeholder of Smartflash Patent Trolling LLC.
Rating: 12 Votes
21 months ago

My criticism of the term "patent troll" is that it fails to acknowledge that at some point, somebody out there invented the technology in dispute, and at some point Smartflash paid $$$ to that inventor. In order to recoup that cost, "patent trolls" engage in patent lawsuits. If you're opposed to patent trolling, then how is that original inventor going to be compensated?


By either putting the patent to use in an actual product or selling it to a company that puts the patent to use in an actual product.

No company should be able to exist solely for the purpose of buying patents and suing people for money.
Rating: 11 Votes
21 months ago
Bull....

The fact is, patent law SHOULD be revised to require you actually create a marketable product with your concept or else the patent expires/gets revoked. Anything else just encourages these stupid lawsuits -- because, "If you can't innovate? Litigate!"

As far as I'm concerned, anyone can sit around and dream up concepts for things -- but that's worth nothing more than any other type of daydreaming if you don't get out there and DO something with your thoughts.

There's no reason to allow government protection of unused ideas. This just lets people stockpile them, waiting to use them to harass people in court who actually DO the work to produce something with the same or very similar concepts.


My criticism of the term "patent troll" is that it fails to acknowledge that at some point, somebody out there invented the technology in dispute, and at some point Smartflash paid $$$ to that inventor. In order to recoup that cost, "patent trolls" engage in patent lawsuits. If you're opposed to patent trolling, then how is that original inventor going to be compensated?

Rating: 10 Votes
21 months ago
Good for Smartflash!
Rating: 8 Votes
21 months ago

Look at that poster's signature. Anti-Apple. Just here to make noise.


Totally.

Let's stone him for having a different opinion than our own and for not owning an Apple product. His kind doesn't belong here. :apple:
Rating: 6 Votes
21 months ago
My criticism of the term "patent troll" is that it fails to acknowledge that at some point, somebody out there invented the technology in dispute, and at some point Smartflash paid $$$ to that inventor. In order to recoup that cost, "patent trolls" engage in patent lawsuits. If you're opposed to patent trolling, then how is that original inventor going to be compensated?

A more lucid version of my argument is written here: The Other Side of the Debate over Patent Trolls (http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2013/12/10/the-other-side-of-the-debate-over-patent-trolls/id=46671/)
Rating: 6 Votes
21 months ago

The fact is, patent law SHOULD be revised to require you actually create a marketable product with your concept or else the patent expires/gets revoked. Anything else just encourages these stupid lawsuits -- because, "If you can't innovate? Litigate!"


So, basically what you're saying is that if you invent something and are granted a patent, but you don't have the funding to create a marketable product out of it, you should have that patent taken away from you so someone else with more money who came up with the idea after you can profit from it.

And you would totally be okay with that if it were you who was originally granted the patent?

I highly doubt it.
Rating: 5 Votes
21 months ago

Does anyone know the specific patent numbers in question?

U.S. Patent No. 7,334,720
U.S. Patent No. 7,942,317
U.S. Patent No. 8,033,458
U.S. Patent No. 8,061,598
U.S. Patent No. 8,118,221
U.S. Patent No. 8,336,772
U.S. Patent No. 8,794,516

For the new suit.

For those of you defending this troll, I challenge you to read one of them. They are essentially just extensions of his original idea, which -- brace yourself, this will blow your mind -- is that someone could stick payment info, DRM info, and media storage on a device like a card and then it could all be portable together. He didn't actually describe novel ways to build such a card, just the idea of making a card with these things together on it.

Then he extended his brilliant idea with subsequent patent filings. To optical drives. And hard drives. And set-top boxes. And anything else he could think of. Now, because he was so brilliant, the world needs to pay him billions of dollars so that they can use his idea that was totally, totally non-obvious, amirite?

Hardcore patent troll. And shame on those of you defending him.
Rating: 5 Votes
21 months ago

I hate patent trolls.


The plaintiff here is the actual inventor of the patents. In fact, he has been involved in the litigation process the entire time, and actually sat the plaintiff's table next to the lawyers for the entire trial.

This is about as far from a patent troll as you can get. This guy is the poster child for small-time garage inventor entrepreneur whose ideas were ripped off by the mega corporation - the kind of person everyone is always worrying about protecting.
Rating: 4 Votes

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