Judge Drops Apple's $533M Fine in iTunes-Related Lawsuit, Sets New Damages Trial

newitunes122logoThe U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Tuesday voided $532.9 million in damages awarded to patent licensing firm Smartflash LLC in February in an iTunes-related patent lawsuit, per Reuters.

The report claims federal judge Rodney Gilstrap has set a new damages trial on September 14 after ruling that "his jury instructions might have 'skewed' jurors' understanding of the damages that Apple should pay."

Apple was initially ordered to pay $532.9 million in damages to Smartflash LLC after a federal jury in the Tyler, Texas courtroom found certain iTunes apps to be infringing upon the company's patents related to digital rights management, data storage and managing access through payment systems.

Apple countered that Smartflash LLC was exploiting the patent system to collect royalties.

“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 was originally seeking $852 million in damages, and claimed it was entitled to a percentage of sales of Apple products used to access iTunes, such as iPhones, iPads and Macs. Apple argued that $4.5 million was fair at most, claiming it does not infringe upon any of Smartflash LLC's inventions and that its patents are invalid.

Apple likely still faces a fine of a different amount pending the results of the new damages trial scheduled for September, but the iPhone maker plans to appeal the decision.

Related Forum: Mac Apps

Top Rated Comments

duffman9000 Avatar
78 months ago
Is this the same "judge" that is leaving NewEgg hanging ('http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/07/after-20-month-delay-a-furious-newegg-still-cant-appeal-2-3m-patent-loss/') on another trial? Sounds like another judge who loves hearing the sound of his own voice.

EDIT: Yup, same creep.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roland.g Avatar
78 months ago
Eastern Texas patent courts. It's like some sort of cocoon for last century thinking.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbeagle Avatar
78 months ago
OH EM GEEE.. Apple could never do wrong, this is just DUMB... pathetic "patent trolls" just wanting a handout. :rollseyes:

Apple does wrong
Patent trolls exist
Both do wrong
Get over it

This judge is an idiot too.
Apple also does a lot right
Maybe you shouldn't label every Apple fan as someone who says Apple does no wrong.
Less than 1% of the zealots here think Apple is God.
A lot more people here think Apple is the anti-christ than think they are God.
Get over it
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbeagle Avatar
78 months ago
You would need to ask Apple...
Or MOST companies. Almost EVERY company holds many patents they don't use. That's the nature of the beast.

Microsoft and Google hold far more patents than Apple - why aren't you singling them out like you are with Apple?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
knemonic Avatar
78 months ago
These patent trolls need to go on Horders.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dilster3k Avatar
78 months ago
Off-topic: I'm sorry but that new icon just doesn't blend in nicely with my dock...
It looks nice, but doesn't quite fit in next to the App Store & iBooks icons.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

macbook air orange

Apple Developing a Whole New Kind of MacBook Air

Monday June 21, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Apple is believed to be working on a completely new, high-end version of the MacBook Air, according to recent reports. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, has repeatedly discussed the company's work on a high-end MacBook Air. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and leaker Jon Prosser have also referred to a similar MacBook Air model. The high-end...
AppleEventLogoFeature

Reliable Leaker Known as 'Kang' Hit With Warning From Apple

Thursday June 24, 2021 5:45 am PDT by
The highly reliable Apple leaker known as "Kang" and a number of other unspecified leakers have reportedly received warnings from lawyers representing Apple. According to posts on Kang's Weibo account, Apple recently commissioned a law firm to send admonitory letters to a number of leakers. The letter purportedly cautioned leakers that they must not disclose information about unreleased...
iPhone 12 v Android 2020

Apple Executive Says Users Who Want App Sideloading Already Have That Option With Other Platforms

Wednesday June 23, 2021 5:07 am PDT by
Apple earlier today published a detailed report outlining in blatant terms the negative impact that sideloading would have on the iPhone and iPad, specifically calling out the impacts it would have on user privacy and security. Now, the company is continuing its PR push, with an executive noting in an interview that users who wish to sideload apps already have that option thanks to other...
Dark Sky App Featured

Apple Updates Dark Sky Weather App With Apple Watch Improvements and More

Tuesday June 22, 2021 11:58 am PDT by
Apple today updated the Dark Sky weather app for the first time since November with improved VoiceOver support and other bug fixes and performance improvements. In addition, Dark Sky complications on the Apple Watch now update more frequently. The full release notes for Dark Sky version 6.8.6:• Improved VoiceOver support • Complications on Apple Watch update more frequently •...
airpods 3 5

New AirPods Expected Later This Year as Suppliers Begin Component Shipments

Wednesday June 23, 2021 11:06 am PDT by
At least seven Apple suppliers have reportedly kicked off circuit board-related shipments for upcoming Apple products, and this notably includes third-generation AirPods, which are expected to be released later this year. "Suppliers including Semco, LG Innotek, Kinsus, Unimicron, Nan Ya, Zhen Ding and AT&S have all kicked off their BT substrate shipments for Apple's next-generation products...
under display touch id

Kuo: 2022 iPhones May Feature Under-Screen Touch ID

Wednesday June 23, 2021 9:16 am PDT by
Apple may include an under the screen Touch ID sensor for some models of the 2022 iPhones, according to credible Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In an investor note today obtained by MacRumors, Kuo says that Apple plans to have four models in the 2022 iPhone lineup. Kuo had previously stated that the iPhone 13, destined for this year, will be the last iPhone lineup to feature a 5.4-inch...
iphone 13 lineup dummy models

iPhone 13 Dummy Models Depict Repositioned Camera Modules

Wednesday June 23, 2021 4:12 am PDT by
New alleged dummy models of the upcoming iPhone 13, shared by leaker Sonny Dickson on Twitter, depict a modified camera layout on the standard iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, with two lenses in a diagonal arrangement rather than the vertical arrangement seen on the iPhone 12 models. The dummy models generally line up with iPhone 13 schematics previously seen by MacRumors, which showed that the ...
airtag in hand

Apple Releases Revised AirTag Firmware Update

Wednesday June 23, 2021 10:16 am PDT by
Apple today released a new version of the 1.0.276 firmware designed for AirTags, which is a revision to the update that was made available in June. The new AirTags 1.0.276 firmware has a build number of 1A287b, while the old firmware had a build number of 1A276d. The 1.0.276 firmware that came out in June added anti-stalking security enhancements, and this new version likely just refines...
Apple Watch 7 Unreleased Feature

Apple Watch Series 7 May Feature Smaller Double-Sided S7 Chip

Wednesday June 23, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple Watch Series 7 could feature a smaller "S7" chip, potentially providing more space for a larger battery or other components. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report accessed by MacRumors, next-generation Apple Watch models will adopt double-sided System in Package (SiP) packaging from Taiwanese supplier ASE Technology. On its website, ASE Technology confirms that its...
series6leds

iOS 15 Hints at Rumored Apple Watch Series 7 Feature

Wednesday June 23, 2021 3:17 am PDT by
A new feature in Apple's upcoming iOS 15 update appears to lay the groundwork for a rumored Apple Watch Series 7 health monitoring feature. iOS 15, Apple's recently-announced major software update for the iPhone, features a number of additions to the Health app, such as the ability to share health data with other people, trends, new metrics for walking steadiness, and more. One of the...