Judge denies Apple a retrial in Smartflash suit, but upholds decision to toss $533M damages against

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited September 2015
A Texas federal judge has refused to grant Apple a new trial in its fight against a Smartflash patent infringement lawsuit, but simultaneously declined to reconsider a decision to toss $532.9 million in damages that were originally awarded to Smartflash.




U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap denied Apple's request on the basis that the jury's verdict was supported by adequate evidence and thus shouldn't be overturned, according to court documents. He also defended the validity of the disputed patents, and dismissed an Apple allegation that the court made a mistake omitting a jury instruction about prior art.

A document about the damages decision is currently not available to the public. Barring any new developments, though, a damages retrial should go ahead on Sept. 14.

Smartflash won a $532.9 million judgment against Apple in February, successfully pursuing claims that services like the iTunes Store and App Store violated three patents involving access to data storage through payment systems. In July, though, Gilstrap tossed the jury verdict, saying his instructions may have tainted the damage assessment.

Smartflash is typically considered a patent troll, as it doesn't actually offer any products or services. Instead, all of its income is derived from patent licenses and lawsuits. Apple has claimed moreover that Smartflash is exploiting the U.S. patent system without having a presence in the country, and contributes nothing to the economy.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    Whoa
  • Reply 2 of 25
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    Ouch!
  • Reply 3 of 25
    rs9rs9 Posts: 68member
    Pay it. Move on.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,903member
    rs9 wrote: »
    Pay it. Move on.
    Apple don't have problem of paying it but that will encourage this type of patent troll for easy money making and impact the innovation.
    Btw, no big corporate ever wins in Texas.
  • Reply 5 of 25

    So that means more or less to pay for Apple?

  • Reply 6 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,290member
    Probably less but maybe not by a lot. There's nothing saying it couldn't be more tho, just not likely IMO.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    rs9 wrote: »
    Pay it. Move on.

    Definitely f'n don't !
    I mean, if Apple are guilty then they should pay - but if they believe themselves to be not guilty and can prove it, then take it to wherever they can get a fair unbiased ruling.
  • Reply 8 of 25
    pdq2pdq2 Posts: 270member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RobM View Post





    Definitely f'n don't !

    I mean, if Apple are guilty then they should pay - but if they believe themselves to be not guilty and can prove it, then take it to wherever they can get a fair unbiased ruling.



    Exactly. They can still appeal this ruling to higher courts.

     

    ...which they ought to - this is the East Texas patent-kangaroo court we're talking about.

  • Reply 9 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,290member
    pdq2 wrote: »

    Exactly. They can still appeal this ruling to higher courts.

    ...which they ought to - this is the East Texas patent-kangaroo court we're talking about.
    It was already appealed and Apple won a couple of their points, just not all of them. That's why it's back in Judge Gilstrap's court now.
  • Reply 10 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    Probably less but maybe not by a lot. There's nothing saying it couldn't be more tho, just not likely IMO.



    Ok, thx. If the Judge feels that his instructions were biased, then I would expect the re-assessment of the damages to be in the opposite direction.

  • Reply 11 of 25
    davdav Posts: 88member

    "three patents involving access to data storage through payment systems"

     

    Wouldn't those patents impact other companies (like Amazon), as well?  Has Smartflash sued any other companies with these patents yet?

  • Reply 12 of 25
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    dav wrote: »
    "three patents involving access to data storage through payment systems"

    Wouldn't those patents impact other companies (like Amazon), as well?

    Yep - you would have to think so.
    Apple needs to defend this successfully.
  • Reply 13 of 25

    Smartflash has also gone after Samsung, but the patents were to undergo re-examination in June, as some were felt to be 'abstract'. If the patents are tossed out, it's hard to see how the cases against Apple and Samsung wouldn't be dropped and all damages becoming null and void.

     

    If not, Apple could always tell Smartflash to collect from the money owed by Samsung. That should slow collection down haha.

     

     

     

  • Reply 14 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,290member
    teejay2012 wrote: »
    Smartflash has also gone after Samsung, but the patents were to undergo re-examination in June, as some were felt to be 'abstract'. If the patents are tossed out, it's hard to see how the cases against Apple and Samsung wouldn't be dropped and all damages becoming null and void.

    If not, Apple could always tell Smartflash to collect from the money owed by Samsung. That should slow collection down haha.


    Here's the trick about infringement awards. You don't get your money back for anything you already paid if the patents are later tossed out.
  • Reply 15 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,290member
    robm wrote: »
    Yep - you would have to think so.
    Apple needs to defend this successfully.
    Apple needs to pin their hopes on Samsung for this one. Apple's infringement (stealing as we simplistically call it here) is already a done deal. Only the damages are in question. Sammy still has the opportunity to get the patent claims tossed out in a court of law even if the USPTO hasn't done anything about it which will certainly help Apple.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,567member
    This judge is biased. He needs to be replaced or the case should move to other court.
  • Reply 17 of 25

    One thing you'd think Apple would learn by now is that they should file for all of the remaining untried Apple patent violation claims against Samsung (all of the ones that Koh decided SHE didn't want to hear about) in East Texas court. 

     

    California courts are garbage.

  • Reply 18 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wood1208 View Post



    This judge is biased. He needs to be replaced or the case should move to other court.



    Together with Lucy?

  • Reply 19 of 25
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    Here's the trick about infringement awards. You don't get your money back for anything you already paid if the patents are later tossed out.



    Exactly why delaying paying is a strategy used by big corporations.

    It would be ironic if Samsung's move to have the patents tossed, results in a benefit for Apple.

  • Reply 20 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post

     



    Together with Lucy?




    She keeps pulling the football away at the last second.

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