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Apple slapped with £300 million fine for three iTunes patents

Apple has been dealt another hefty blow in the courtroom, this time forced to pay $530 million (£342 million) to Smartflash for three iTunes patents.

The payment is lower than the $852 million (£549 million) Smartflash originally asked for when filing the lawsuit in May 2013.

The federal jury in Tyler, Texas considered both sides for eight hours, before claiming Apple was in the wrong and should pay for damages to Smartflash's portfolio.

Smartflash's three patents were focused on digital rights management, data storage and payments systems on a music player - but Apple claims these patents were not copied by the company.

Apple will appeal the decision made by the court, after pushing for two years to have the case removed entirely. It also called for changes in the patent system, to prevent irrelevant companies from taking it to court.

“Smartflash makes no products, has no employees, creates no jobs, has no US presence, and is exploiting our patent system to seek royalties for technology Apple invented,” said Apple manager of corporate communications Kristin Huguet. “We refused to pay off this company for the ideas our employees spent years innovating, and unfortunately we have been left with no choice but to take this fight up through the court system.”

Apple has been fighting two iTunes cases in the past few months, the other involving DRM practices on the music service that eliminated competition like Real Player.

The actual amount Apple has paid back to lawsuits is quite small however, showing the company is more willing to spend endless amounts of money on lawyers to find a not-guilty verdict.

It is possible Apple will be able to win in a high-court, considering Smartflash has not made any software in a few years and remains a rather small company, incapable of competing with Apple in lawyer's budget.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.