Apple’s Motion to Stay Denied in App Store Patent Infringement Case

A federal judge refused to stay patent-infringement claims by Smartflash regarding Apple's Store Kit Framework, which developers use to create apps.

Plaintiffs Smartflash LLC and Smartflash Technologies Limited filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, Inc., and developers Robot Entertainment, Inc., KingIsle Entertainment, Inc., and Game Circus LLC. The lawsuit alleged that the defendants through the use of Apple's software infringed on the following patents: U.S. Patent No. 7,334,720; U.S. Patent No. 7,942,317; U.S. Patent No. 8,033,458; U.S. Patent No. 8,061,598; U.S. Patent No. 8,118,221; and U.S. Patent No. 8,336,772.

Between March 28 and April 3, 2014, Apple filed twelve petitions with the court for Covered Business Method review, two for each of the six patents in suit. Apple challenged the patents on the grounds that they are invalid. On the same day it filed its last petition, a motion requesting a stay of all proceedings pending the USPTO’s completion of CBM review.

Today Judge K. Nicole Mitchell for the U.S. District Court (Eastern District of Texas – Tyler Division) denied Apple's stay request:

"The current status of this case weighs slightly in favor of staying the action," the judge wrote. "In contrast, the possible issue simplification and prejudice factors weigh against staying the action and the burden factor is neutral. Balancing the factors in whole, they favor denying the motion to stay at this time. Once the PTO decides whether it will grant review, the Court will better be able to analyze the full repercussions of granting or denying a stay."

"Accordingly, Defendant’s Motion to Stay Litigation Pending Covered Business Method Review is DENIED," the judge concluded.

The case will continue in August.

You can check out the ruling here.

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