Apple took a major step this week toward getting out of its $533 million payment to the patent troll Smartflash LLC after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled that two of three patents owned by Smartflash are invalid.
The patent agency ruled that the two of the patents shouldn’t have even been issues in the first place because they are abstract concepts and not specific inventions. The USPTO made a similar ruling against one of Smartflash’s patents in March, which could help Apple get the case dismissed.
Apple’s most hated patent troll, VirnetX, has hit the iPhone-maker with more legal woes this week, after it requested a court in Texas to have iMessage and FaceTime banned in the U.S.
VirnetX was awarded $625 million in damages after a jury found Apple had infringed on the company’s patents with iMessage and FaceTime. Now the patent troll is asking for an extra $190 million on top of the injunction because it feels Apple’s just been too unreasonable.
The Samsung vs. Apple patent war has been raging for years now, but it took an interesting twist recently when a three-judge panel in federal appeals court reversed a $120 million jury verdict in favor of Apple.
The reason it’s interesting? Because, according to Apple at least, doing so was a violation of the U.S. Constitution.