Back in February, Apple was told to pay $533 million due to patents that their iTunes service had apparently infringed upon. These patents belong to a company that you have probably never heard of, Smartflash LLC. Unfortunately, Smartflash getting involved with this type of court battle isn't a new thing. The company is well known for attempting to use their patents that cover broad systems in order to sue companies.
Smartflash's latest case involves the biggest Android manufacturer in the world, Samsung. And luckily for Apple, Samsung's involvement in this court battle against Smartflash may end up saving them from having to fork out the $533 million mentioned before. This is because Samsung is being sued for infringing on the same patents that Apple is being sued for, except it looks as though Samsung may be on the cusp of having these patents thrown out completely. These patents cover something very broad. They cover the ways of controlling digital data through payment systems, which is something that essentially every company takes part in nowadays. It doesn't look good for Smartflash though, as these patents have not done them very well in past court battles. Apparently they came about back in 2002 from an inventor by the name of Patrick Racz, whose original intent was to commercialize the system.
So, you are all probably wondering how well Smartflash performed in their earlier court battles for similar issues. Well, they performed as poorly as possible. Actually, they lost 100% of their previous court battles due to their patents being found as ineligible. This is good news for Samsung and Apple as they are in the same situation.
All in all, if these patents are to get thrown out, which is a strong possibility based on Smartflash's record, it will greatly behoove both Samsung and Apple. Samsung getting these patents thrown out will cause both them and (most probably) Apple to win their respective court cases. Saving them from shoveling out hundreds of millions of dollars. It's kind of ironic, isn't it? Samsung and Apple are usually the ones attacking each other in court over patent infringement and now Samsung could be saving Apple from losing one of these battles.