Apple has had a court case thrown out that would have forced it to hand over $533m to a little-known licensing outfit called Smartflash.
Back in February 2015, a US judge ruled that Apple infringed three of Smartfish's patents related to 'data storage and managing access through payment systems' in iTunes, iAd and the Mac App Store, citing the patents' use in apps including Game Circus LLC's Coin Dozer and 4 Pics 1 Movie.
The judge chose not to award the entire $852m the software maker was seeking but ordered that Apple cough up $523.9m in damages.
However, Apple has now finally had the decision overturned thanks to a ruling from the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
A unanimous three-judge appeals panel said the patents in question were too "abstract" and did not go far enough in describing an actual invention to warrant protection, according to a report at Reuters.
This ruling isn't surprising, as US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap ordered a damages retrial, saying the jury's view of Apple's infringement might have been confused by his instructions on how properly to calculate royalties.
What's more, a number of Smartflash patents were invalidated by the US Patent and Trademark Office last year.
Regardless, it has likely gone down well at Apple, who said at the time that the damages were initially awarded: "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.
"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."
Smartflash also brought a similar case in the same court against Samsung, which remains pending.
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