On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit refused to stay proceedings in Smartflash's patent lawsuit against Apple, potentially paving the way for Smartflash claiming recalculated damages.
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.
In February, Smartflash won a $532.9 million verdict against Apple, claiming that services like the iTunes Store, App Store, and iAd violated three patents connected to "data storage and managing access through payment systems." Smartflash does not sell any products or services of its own, and instead relies on patent licensing and lawsuits to generate revenue.
Earlier this month though U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap tossed out the initial verdict, stating that his jury instructions may have improperly affected the damage assessment. With today's ruling, a September 14 damages retrial should be set to go ahead.
Apple has very vocally defended its position, accusing Smartflash of exploiting the U.S. patent system despite having no U.S. presence, and contributing nothing to the economy in terms of jobs or products.