THE NEWS WRAP: Apple ordered to pay more than $500 million in damages

Apple has been ordered to pay $US532.9 million ($A670m) after a federal jury found its iTunes software infringed the rights of patent licensing company Smartflash.


The Texas jury deliberated for eight hours and determined Apple had used Smartflash’s patents wilfully and without permission, according to Reuters.


Smartflash had originally been asking for $US852 million in damages.


“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,” an Apple spokesperson told Reuters.


The news follows the announcement of Apple’s first quarter results, which last month saw the company post a record net profit of $18 billion.

Pebble crowdfunding campaign set to break $10 million mark

US-based startup Pebble has smashed its latest crowdfunding target, breaking the $US9 million mark with more than 30 days to go.


The crowdfunding campaign, which aims to jumpstart the production of the company’s Pebble Time smartwatch, is already the third most-funded project on Kickstarter.


The startup was originally asking for half a million dollars, but now only needs to raise another $US4 million in order to become the most-funded project on the crowdfunding platform.


The company previously raised more than $US10 million in 2012 from more than 68,000 backers.

US photography startup raises $50 million to explore virtual reality

Photography startup Lytro has raised $US50 million in order to explore virtual reality technology, according to Re/code.


The US-based company, founded in 2006, uses light field technology in order to capture the entire light field – which means users can focus a picture and change its perspective after the photo is taken.


Chief executive Jason Rosenthal told Re/code the strategic shift would not be without “some cuts” to staff.


“Fifty million dollars is a nice big number, but it is not unlimited. We had to make some pretty tough decisions.”


The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.04%, rising 7.61 points to 18,216.80. The Aussie dollar is currently trading at 78.89 US cents.


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