Patent infringement legal action this year kicks off for Apple with the loss coming not from fellow tech giants but from patent office Smartflash. The technology that a Texas jury said Apple infringed upon was in relation to the company’s iTunes software.
Smartflash was looking for $852 million in damages. As expected, Apple said that the claim was exaggerated and that the patents were worth much, much less–$847.5 million less to be exact.
According to Smartflash, the company’s founder, Patrick Racz brought the technology to Apple’s Senior Director of Security, Augustin Farrugia which explains how the Cupertino-based giant would have gained knowledge of the technology. Apple alleges that it had been developing the same technology for years prior to Smartflash approaching them.
The Tyler, Texas jury found that Smartflash’s patents for DRM, data storage, and payment systems were used by Apple without the company’s permission. The end result was Apple being order to pay almost $533 million to the Texas-based company.
While 2013 and 2014 was all about Team Android (Google and Samsung), Apple, and Microsoft battling each other in San Jose and Amazon against publishers, 2015 looks to see the tech giants against a common enemy in Smartflash with a case against Samsung being next.
Apple has said that it plans to appeal the decision.