Apple Faces Second Lawsuit from Smartflash

Apple Faces Second Lawsuit from Smartflash

Texas patent holding firm Smartflash LLC, fresh off a $532.9 million court victory against Apple, is once more suing the iPhone maker, attempting to get another payday for the same patents’ use in devices that debuted after the original case was underway.



Smartflash LLC aims to make Apple pay for using the patent licensing firm’s technology without permission in devices not be included in the previous case, such as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and the iPad Air 2. The trial covered older Apple devices.

Smartflash had just tasted victory on Tuesday, when a federal jury in Tyler, Texas found that Apple had willfully violated three Smartflash patents relating to accessing and storing downloaded songs, videos and games.

Smartflash’s new lawsuit is filed in the same Tyler court, where the company itself is located, and which also has become a popular place to file such patent suits, due to local juries willingness to find for the plaintiff in such cases. Smartflash licenses its patents, but it does not make any products itself.

“Smartflash filed the complaint to address products that came out too far into the last proceedings to have been included,” Smartflash’s attorney, Brad Caldwell, told Reuters on Thursday. “Apple cannot claim they don’t know about these patents or understand that they are infringing. A diligent jury has already rejected those arguments.”

Reuters was unable to reach an Apple representative for comment.

Apple says it will appeal Tuesday’s verdict, pointing to the case as another reason patent reform is needed.

The latest lawsuit charges Apple with infringing the same patents at issue in the previous trial, along with four other patents.

Smartflash has also filed patent infringement suits over the same patents against Samsung, Google, and Amazon.