Judge Orders New Trial On Damages In Apple iTunes Patent Dispute

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A US$533.9 million award against Apple has been thrown out by a district court judge, who has ordered a new trial on damages after a jury previously found that Apple’s iTunes software infringed on three patents held by Texas company Smartflash, Reuters has reported.US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap said jurors who awarded the damages to Smartflash earlier in the year might have been confused by his instructions on how to properly calculate royalties, Reuters reported, with Apple having argued that the damages were too high.

Instead of distinguishing between patented and unpatented features, Apple had argued jurors might have improperly considered the entire market value of the products, Reuters reported.

Apple had announced plans to appeal following the decision earlier in the year.

“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,” Apple said in a media statement following the court decision.

“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.”

Reuters has reported that Gilstrap has set a new trial only on the issue of damages for September 14.

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