Apple persuades U.S. judge to void $533 million iTunes award

July 8, 2015

A US federal judge has thrown out a $532.9 million award against Apple Inc and ordered a new trial on damages, in a case where a jury found that the iPhone maker’s iTunes software infringed three patents owned by a Texas company.

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In a decision on Tuesday (July 7), U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap in Tyler, Texas, said jurors who on Feb. 24 awarded the damages to Smartflash LLC because of Apple’s willful infringement might have been confused by his instructions on how to properly calculate royalties.

Apple had argued that the damages were too high because jurors might have improperly considered the entire market value of the products, rather than distinguishing between patented and unpatented features.

Gilstrap set a new trial only on the issue of damages for Sept. 14 in Tyler, where Smartflash is based.

Apple, its law firm and Smartflash’s law firm did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Shares of Apple fell 1.8 percent to $123.43 in morning trading.

The case is Smartflash LLC et al v. Apple Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, No. 13-00447.