Smartflash, which claimed that Apple infringed three patents, was seeking $852m in damages, while Apple said it was worth $4.5m at most. A federal jury in Tyler, Texas, where Smartflash is based, on Tuesday rejected Apple’s arguments that it didn’t use the inventions and that the patents were invalid.
The dispute is over digital rights management and inventions related to data storage and managing access through payment systems. Smartflash claimed iTunes used the inventions in certain applications. Apple pledged to appeal.
“Smartflash makes no products, has no employees, creates no jobs, has no US 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.”
Apple employs 4,000 people in Cork City, and this week announced an €850m investment in a data centre in Athenry.