The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Thursday refused to stay the proceedings in a patent lawsuit against Apple. The plaintiff, Smartflash, in February won a $532.9 million verdict against Apple, after claiming the iTunes Store, App Store, and iAd violated three patents it holds connected to “data storage and managing access through payment systems.”
Samsung — which is facing a separate Smartflash suit — has however been granted a halt to proceedings while the validity of patents is determined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Reuters said. The outcome could influence the course of Apple’s case.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap tossed out the initial verdict, saying his jury instructions in the original case may have improperly affected the jury’s damage assessment. Thursday’s ruling will likely allow the September damages retrial to go forward.
Apple, for its part, says Smartflash is merely exploiting the U.S. patents system, even though it has no stateside presence; relying on patent licensing and lawsuits to generate revenue, and contributing nothing to the economy in terms of jobs or products.