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Judge denies Apple a retrial in Smartflash suit, but upholds decision to toss $533M damages against Apple

A Texas federal judge has refused to grant Apple a new trial in its fight against a Smartflash patent infringement lawsuit, but simultaneously declined to reconsider a decision to toss $532.9 million in damages that were originally awarded to Smartflash.




U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap denied Apple's request on the basis that the jury's verdict was supported by adequate evidence and thus shouldn't be overturned, according to court documents. He also defended the validity of the disputed patents, and dismissed an Apple allegation that the court made a mistake omitting a jury instruction about prior art.

A document about the damages decision is currently not available to the public. Barring any new developments, though, a damages retrial should go ahead on Sept. 14.

Smartflash won a $532.9 million judgment against Apple in February, successfully pursuing claims that services like the iTunes Store and App Store violated three patents involving access to data storage through payment systems. In July, though, Gilstrap tossed the jury verdict, saying his instructions may have tainted the damage assessment.

Smartflash is typically considered a patent troll, as it doesn't actually offer any products or services. Instead, all of its income is derived from patent licenses and lawsuits. Apple has claimed moreover that Smartflash is exploiting the U.S. patent system without having a presence in the country, and contributes nothing to the economy.