Apple, one of the technology giants of the world, has surely shaken up 2017 with their huge win on a recent case of patent. Recently, a whopping 533 million dollars was awarded to a Texas patent owner over a dispute regarding iTunes but Apple went on to appeal further and it seems that they have won the case with a trial on the issue of damages.
A federal judge from Texas reverted the decision and a new trial was ordered solely on damages. The judge was also quick to dismiss Apple’s plea for another trial regarding infringement of patent rights. In fact, so much so, the new trial may well be perpetually deferred since Samsung is also involved in this.
A new legal confusion
Apple and Samsung, two of the biggest names in the technology market, have asked the appeals court to stall their cases as the patent office of US is taking time to review the legal concerns. Whether the Smartflash LLC has a valid patent claim or not has become a major issue before one can proceed to court procedures. Basically the question at large is, whether ideas, especially content controlling ones, could be protected legally or should be protected legally.
Such a dispute has its deep roots in the domain of management of digital rights and inventions. Of course, one can easily guess that Smartflash are claiming that some part of iTunes are copied from some of the previous technologies. However, the issues at large are two different ones.
What are the allegations?
Against Apple, Smartflash claims that the payment systems and the data storage modules are direct rip-offs from certain applications such as Coin Dozer of Gem Circus LLC and 4 Pics 1 Movie. Against Samsung, however, the cases are slightly different and the trial is set later this year. The same federal judge will be dealing with the issue.
The argument against Samsung involves quite a few issues, most importantly Google Play, the android app distribution platform which has further involved Google in the process, making the legal web much bigger to disentangle. However, Google’s involvement is not for the first time at all since such cases have been fought previously for similar causes.
Previously, a district judge had put on hold a similar case filed against Google by the same Smartflash. The case was due a review and hence, such measures were taken. However, his treatment for the Apple and Samsung cases were different since he opined them to be completely different scenarios which may not seem so to many people.
In fact, Amazon was also another big name involved in this case who had to face similar issues. Now, as such big names have got involved in the case, a process has begun to scrutinize the patients once again to understand the legal implications of such a financial model of business.
Accusations against Smartflash
Samsung and Apple too have things to say against Smartflash and they are currently very vocal about the patents of Smartflash which are used to buy apps and hence, patent protection is nullified. In fact, the judge clearly stated that the payment for Apple must be calculated keeping various planes of issues in mind.
The federal court is very keen on limiting the high-flying patent owners so that the owner does not get all the money or ask for it. Smartflash has been there for some time now and its story of growth is stupendous until now. However, it needs to watch its step so that it does not get involved in needless legal battles ending up losing money.