Apple fights off iTunes patent spat appeal

That bit where you said we didn't have to give them $500m – stick with that

Apple is trying to kill off an attempt by Smartflash to reverse a patent panel's ruling and thereby force Cupertino to hand it $533m in a Federal Circuit dispute.

Smartflash owns three patents at issue, and had initially won $533m in damages from Apple, on the basis that it infringed these patents in its iTunes product. Smartflash then appealed to a US federal court for triple damages but Apple succeeded in having that and the $533m award thrown out, with a panel decision invalidating Smartflash's data storage patents as "abstract ideas".

Smartflash petitioned the Federal Circuit court for a rehearing in April in light of other recent patent-eligibility rulings made by the court and Apple's latest brief is a response to that.

“Smartflash identifies no error in the panel’s analysis that might warrant panel rehearing, and it does not even attempt to establish that there is a conflict among this court’s precedential decisions that warrants resolution by the full court,” Apple maintained.

The three US patents – 7,334,720, 8,118,221 and 8,336,772 – cover "data storage and access systems ... for downloading and paying for data such as audio and video data, text, software, games and other types of data."

Apple is now trying to persuade the Federal Circuit court to invalidate the patents, alleging they refer only to an abstract idea which is not patentable. Smartflash claims that is wrong.

The case - Smartflash LLC v. Apple Inc, number 2016-1059 in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit - continues. ®

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