Tech giant Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been ordered to pay $532.9 million to patent licensing firm Smartflash LLC after a Texas federal jury found Apple guilty of patent infringement. The lawsuit centered around three patents owned by Smartflash relating to the software that iTunes used to allow users to access and store downloaded media.
In an official statement about the ruling, Apple expressed its unwillingness to pay the cash without a fight. “We refuse 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,” the statement read.
Apple plans to appeal the ruling on the grounds that the technology that is the subject of the debate is too basic to deserve a patent in the first place.
Could have been worse
After eight hours of deliberation, the jury in the case found Apple guilty of willfully using Smartflash’s patented technology. However, things could have been much worse for Apple, as the $532.9 million the court ordered Apple to pay is a far cry from the $852 million Smartflash was asking for in its lawsuit.
Apple stock’s reaction to the news has been minimal, as shares are trading down about one percent on Wednesday from near all-time high levels. Apple stock is up more than 18 percent so far in 2015.
Investors in Samsung Electronics Inc (OTC: SSNLF) and Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) are likely watching the results of the lawsuit closely, as Smartflash currently has an additional patent infringement lawsuit filed against these two companies as well.
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