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Apple has to pay a $532.9 million fine for patent infringement

Apple has an army of legal experts working around the clock to fight the numerous lawsuits that the company faces each year, most of which have to due with alleged patent infringement. Unfortunately for Apple, even this army of lawyers can’t win every case and the company’s most recent legal defeat has resulted in a $532.9 million fine that Apple must pay to a small Texas company known as Smartflash for patent infringement. 

A federal jury decided this week that Apple should pay $532.9 million in damages for violating patents held by Smartflash, a business based in Texas. If you haven’t heard of Smartflash before, you wouldn’t be alone. The company does not make any products and its sole business is licensing seven patents. Smartflash filed its original complaint against Apple in 2013 in the Eastern District of Texas. In the trial, which was held in a courthouse in Tyler, down the street from Smartflash’s office, the patent holder accused Apple of violating three patents covering digital copyright management, payment systems and data storage. The jury said on Tuesday that Apple had violated all three patents. It also said that Apple failed to demonstrate that the patents were invalid. Apple said it planned to appeal the decision. It said the case was an example of why Congress needed to embrace reform of the patent system.

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