Articles Tagged with lawsuit

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Apple must pay more than $368 million in damages to VirnetX Inc. according to a jury verdict returned in federal court yesterday (see it below). The same day the verdict was reached, VirnetX and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) filed a new patent lawsuit against Apple.

In 2010, VirnetX said that its patent portfolio was “derived from a Central Intelligence Agency security project”

The four (4) patents in this litigation reportedly stem from technology for secure communications developed for the CIA by SAIC.

Each of the following four U.S. patents are related to patent Application No. 09/504,783, an ancestor application for every patent-in-suit :

  • Patent No. 6,502,135 – Agile network protocol for secure communications with assured system availability
  • 7,418,504 – Agile network protocol for secure communications using secure domain names
  • 7,921,211 – Agile network protocol for secure communications using secure domain names
  • 7,490,151 – Establishment of a secure communication link based on a domain name service (DNS) request

A jury trial was conducted over five (5) days starting on Halloween last week, and concluding yesterday, Tuesday November 6, 2012. Surprisingly, the jury returned a $368 million verdict for the VirnetX, Inc. against Apple the same day that they began deliberating:

Somehow, they were able to plow through 29 pages of jury instructions, deliberate, and also decide the amount of damages that they wished to award plaintiff.

Do you believe that a jury can process the technical information entered into evidence at this patent trial, deliberate, and return a verdict, after just five days, and award nearly $400 million in damages in less than a single day? It seems unlikely.

VirnetX accused four companies of patent infringement in the lawsuit that it reached a verdict against the Cupertino company yesterday: Apple, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., Avaya, Inc., and German-based Siemens Enterprise Communications GmbH. The claims against Apple were the first to be tried. According to a notice entered on the case docket on September 24, 2012, the claims against the remaining three defendants are scheduled for trial in March 2013 before U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Davis.

What is even more surprising is that VirnetX and SAIC filed a new patent infringement lawsuit against Apple on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 — the exact same day that the jury reached its verdict and awarded the company more than $368 million in damages.

The new lawsuit filed yesterday accuses Apple of violating the exact same for patents named in the earlier lawsuit, claiming that infringement by “Apple’s servers and other Apple computers that support the VPN On Demand functionality,” in addition to patent claims over Apple’s Facetime and iMessage functions. In addition to Apple servers and computers, the new lawsuit also alleges patent infringement via its Mountain Lion operating system, and Apple’s newest generation of mobile devices, including the iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5, iPad 4th Generation, and iPad Mini.

Read the jury’s $368 million dollar verdict (below), and browse the case docket.
Verdict Form (VirnetX, Inc. v. Apple, Inc.)

Image credits: tlegend via Shutterstock (top); Jury verdict in VirnetX, Inc. v. Apple, Inc. (center)

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Image credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

Apple published a roundabout apology today (see below) after losing an appeal in the British courts over a lawsuit claiming that some Samsung tablets infringed the registered design of the Cupertino, California, company’s iPad.

The publication notice was made to comply with an earlier July 18, 2012, ruling by a lower court requiring Apple to publish, at its own expense, a link and explanation to the judgment rendered by HHJ Birss QC on July 9, 2012.

The apology listed below was issued after an iPad-toting British judge upheld a lower court finding that three different Samsung tablet computers “do not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 000181607-0001.”

The phrase ‘registered design’ refers to a legal status conferred by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office for “grant[ing] exclusive rights in the look and appearance of your product.”

Sir Robin Jacob, who wrote the judgment for the panel of three British Court of Appeal judges who heard and decided the case, candidly disclosed that he has an Apple iPad (“I own one”).

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Yesterday, WhitServe LLC filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging infringement of a patent WhitServe owns. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, the lawsuit

The patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,921,139, is described as a “System for sequentially opening and displaying files in a directory.” Invented by Wesley W. Whitmyer, Jr.—sole member of WhitServe LLC according to a business search for the Connecticut company—the patent was filed December 1, 2006.

The allegedly infringing Apple products include Mac OS X Leopard, Mac OS X Lion, and Mac OS X Mountain Lion. According to the complaint, Apple introduced the “Quick Look” feature into its operating system with the release of Mac OS X Leopard on October 26, 2007—nearly one year after the patent at issue was filed. The complaint describes the Quick Look feature as allowing a user to “instantly preview almost any file, and even play media files, without opening an application.”

After detailing 37 ways in which Quick Look infringes on the plaintiff’s patent, the complaint asks for injunctive relief as well as damages for harm suffered.

Unlike many patent lawsuits against the technology giants like Apple, this suit stands out as being by the actual inventor of the patent at issue, rather than merely a patent holding company. Whether the merits of the suit will pan out for the plaintiff remains to be seen. Continue reading →

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Apple was hit with a patent infringement lawsuit (read it below) over Siri, the Cupertino, California company’s computer voice search-and-speak technology inside newer iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices. The twist in this case, however, is that patent holder Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute isn’t the one suing.

Instead, the plaintiff is Dynamic Advances, LLC, a Tyler, Texas-based company created last year by patent monetizer Erich Spangenberg. The LLC’s members and officers include the Spangenberg Family Foundation and Techdev Holdings.

Spangenberg is known for his sue first, ask questions later approach to patent litigation.

A lawsuit filed Friday in a New York federal court confirms that Dynamic Advances, LLC is a non-practicing entity (NPE) allegedly holding an exclusive license to sue, enforce, and monetize Rennselaer’s patent portfolio:

Dynamic Advances facilitates Rennselaer’s goal of commercializing its patented inventions to the benefit of the general public, and to further Rennselaer’s mission to apply science to the common purposes of life.

Pleadings in the case docket do not currently include a copy of any alleged exclusive patent license agreement between Rennselaer and Dynamic Advances.

The patent at issue is U.S. Patent No. 7,177,798 for a “Natural language interface using constrained intermediate dictionary of results.” The USPTO awarded the patent in 2007. Continue reading →

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A consumer Apple iPhone class-action antitrust lawsuit (read it below) accuses the Cupertino, California, company of conspiring to monopolize early iPhone purchasers’ voice and data plans by locking them into exclusivity contracts with AT&T Mobility, in violation of federal antitrust law.

The proposed class of plaintiffs includes consumers who bought iPhones between October 19, 2008, and February 3, 2011. This corresponds to the period of time when Apple sold three versions of the company’s iPhone: the original, 3G, and 3Gs models.

The plaintiffs are asking for a permanent injunction prohibiting Apple from selling locked iPhones that can be be used only with AT&T Mobility SIM cards, unless consumers get adequate disclosure before their purchase, and an order requiring Apple to give an unlock code to any iPhone customer who wants one.

Plaintiffs Zack Ward and Thomas Buchar also seek an unspecified amount of treble damages against Apple under federal law, in addition to attorneys fees. Apple is the sole defendant in the lawsuit; neither AT&T Mobility, nor any related business units at the telecom was named a party.

The suit alleges that Ward and Buchard each wanted to switch their iPhone plans from AT&T to a different, competing telecom provider. Buchar also contends that by locking iPhone customers’ SIM cards when traveling outside the U.S., he was unable “to switch his iPhone service to a local voice and data service provider while roaming.”

The lawsuit chastises AT&T for unlocking SIM cards on other phones it sells, like Blackberry and Samsung devices, and claims that “[t]here is but one exception: the iPhone,” citing a five-year exclusivity agreement between Apple and AT&T Mobility.

This case has a quite a few hurdles to overcome, however. Continue reading →

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Yesterday Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg scored a huge win against Paul Ceglia, the plaintiff claiming 50% ownership of the social media company, but whose allegations the defendants have consistently maintained are based upon a fraudulent work for hire document.

In a 24-page decision and order (D&O) issued Wednesday (read it below), U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio granted Zuckerberg and Facebook what appears to be a huge advantage in this closely watched case, approving their entire motion for “a protective order relieving them of any obligation to provide responses to all of [Ceglia]’s documents requests, and many of Plaintiff’s interrogatories.” Judge Foschio deemed all of the items the defendants wanted to bar “irrelevant” to Ceglia’s defense of the defendants’ summary motion to dismiss the case.

In granting the Zuckerberg and Facebook’s motion for a protective order, the court noted that Ceglia’s interrogatories and document fell outside the scope of the court’s April 30, 2012 D&O limiting the scope of discovery. Judge Foschio concluded that the six (6) year statute of limitations for breach of contract claims remained “the primary issue raised by Defendants’ Summary Judgment Motion.” Zuckerberg and Facebook have steadfastly maintained that “Ceglia’s Work for Hire document is [a] forgery.”

The purported document’s authenticity — or lack of it — is key to any court ruling on whether or not Ceglia’s claim to own 50% of the social media company is valid and enforceable. Handwriting and digital forensic experts remain an essential part of the case, assessing whether or not the alleged work for hire document is genuine. Continue reading →

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Jerald Bovino, the holder of a U.S. Patent (No. 6,977,809) for a portable computer case made of ‘resilient material’ designed with ‘ribs,’ is suing Apple and Target, claiming that Apple’s manufacture and sale of iPad and iPad 2 cases (inset, right), and Target’s sale of the iPad Smart Cover, infringe his 2005 patent.
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Montblanc, the German maker of fabled fountain pens and other luxury goods sued Google for help in unmasking the identities of alleged counterfeiters running Google AdWords campaigns on Google’s UK search engine to hawk knockoff pens.

Montblanc’s lawsuit against Google asks the court for equitable relief, i.e.,, not money but a court order granting the penmaker discovery to unmask and confirm the identity of the person or entity placing misleading ads on Google.
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Tensions could reach a new high point today in the Facebook ownership claim lawsuit between plaintiff, convicted felon Paul Cegilia (inset), and Defendants Facebook and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

A court hearing today in Buffalo, New York is scheduled to consider no less than eight (8) motions with roughly eighty (80) pleadings on among them on the court docket.

What are they all about?
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Carrier IQ, a mobile phone software and data analytics company that gives telecoms business intelligence on connections, dropped calls and user behavior was hit with at least eleven consumer class-action lawsuits alleging privacy and Federal Wiretap Act violations.

The lawsuits accuse the telecom software analystics company of variously recording Android or Apple mobile phone users’ text messages, e-mails and keystrokes, but a number of reports seriously question such claims.
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