Articles Tagged with patent infringement

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shutterstock_733276On December 11, a federal jury in Delaware found that Apple’s iPhone violates three patents held by MobileMedia Ideas LLC (“MMI”), a Maryland company. The company first filed the patent infringement lawsuit on March 31, 2010, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, where it was assigned to Judge Sue Robinson.

In its complaint, MMI alleged that Apple’s manufacture and sale of the iPhone product violated 14 patents owned by MMI. After extensive discovery and pretrial procedures, the case went to a jury trial. The jury returned a verdict for MMI, finding that Apple directly infringed on three of the patents at issue:

  • U.S. Patent No. 6,070,068: “Communication terminal device and method for controlling a connecting state of a call into a desired connection state upon a predetermined operation by a user” (originally assigned to Sony)
  • U.S. Patent No. 6,253,075: “Method and apparatus for incoming call rejection” (originally assigned to Nokia)
  • U.S. Patent No. 6,427,078: “Device for personal communications, data collection and data processing, and a circuit card” (originally assigned to Nokia)

MMI has filed lawsuits against other technology companies as well, including Research In Motion (RIM) and HTC Corporation, but they have not yet been resolved. Continue reading →

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Earlier this week, on December 3, Apple was sued in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California for an alleged patent infringement. The plaintiff in the lawsuit is a California corporation vaguely named Technology Licensing Company Inc.

According to the complaint, the Technology Licensing Company owns U.S. Patent No. 5,734,862, entitled “System for selectively buffering and displaying relevant frames from interleaving frames associated with respective animation sequences stored in a medium in response to user selection” and issued in 1998. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the inventor of the patent at issue is Charles J. Kulas, a patent attorney and former electrical engineer based out of San Francisco, California.

The complaint does not detail how Apple allegedly infringes on the patent, but it appears to relate to the making and reading of DVDs.

Complaint in Technology Licensing Company, Inc. v. Apple, Inc.

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On November 30, Washington Research Foundation filed a patent infringement lawsuit against ten defendants, including Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and HP. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, the lawsuit alleges that the technology companies infringe on patents that the plaintiff has the exclusive licensed to use and enforce.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff, Washington Research Foundation, is a nonprofit organization in Washington State that is charged with the review of technology disclosures by the University of Washington and other Washington research institutions. The Foundation is also responsible for seeking and enforcing patents, copyrights, and other applicable legal protections for technology developments by the institutions.

The complaint alleges that University of Washington researcher Edwin A. Suominen developed 14 inventions used in radio frequency technology and Bluetooth® communication systems. Patents for these inventions were issued to Suominen, but the University of Washington owns all right, title, and interest in the patents pursuant to an assignment agreement between the University and Suominen. In turn, the Washington Research Foundation (named plaintiff in this case) owns an exclusive license to these patents. Continue reading →

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On Thursday, November 29, Google was named as the defendant in a patent infringement lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. The plaintiff is a Delaware company called CreateAds LLC, which, according to its website, is a tool that allows people to create print ads for any U.K. newspaper or magazine. The company alleges in its complaint that Google’s “Google Sites” product infringes on the patented software that powers the plaintiffs.

The patent at issue, U.S. Patent No. 5,535,320, is entitled “Method of Generating a Visual Design” and was issued in 1996 to its inventors, Clive H. Gay and Henri W. Frencken. According to the complaint, Clive Gay’s company CreateAds is built upon the software described in the patent. The complaint alleges that Google Sites’ “template-based visual design generation products and services” infringe on the plaintiff’s patent.

Complaint in CreateAds LLC v. Google Inc.

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Last Thursday, November 29, a foreign corporation called Arendi filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Delaware. Arendi, organized under the laws of Luxembourg, alleges in its complaint that nearly all of Apple’s products infringe on three patents owned by the plaintiff:

  • U.S. Patent No. 7,917,843: “Method, system and computer readable medium for addressing handling from a computer program”
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,496,854: “Method, system and computer readable medium for addressing handling from a computer program”
  • U.S. Patent No. 8,306,993: “Method, system and computer readable medium for addressing handling from an operating system”

In its complaint, Arendi references two prior lawsuits it initiated against Microsoft and Dell, alleging infringement of the same patents. The complaint states that both of those lawsuits were settled and dismissed in November of last year.

Arendi asks the court to issue a declaratory judgment that Apple’s products infringe on Arendi’s patents; compensatory damages for the infringement; and injunctive relief to permanently prevent Apple from continuing to sell its allegedly infringing products.

Read more about the lawsuit on Patently Apple.

Complaint in Arendi S.A.R.L. v. Apple Inc.

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Massachusetts company Lexington Luminance LLC (“Lexington”) filed a lawsuit against Google, Inc. yesterday, November 29, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. It its complaint, Lexington alleges that Google’s Nexus 7 and other similar products infringe on a patent the company owns.

According to the complaint, the patent at issue, U.S. Patent No. 6,936,851, is entitled “Semiconductor Light-Emitting Device and Method for Manufacturing Same” and was issued to Lexington in 2005.

A Massachusetts business entity search reveals that the registered agent of Lexington is Tien Yang Wang, the inventor of the patent at issue. Organized in July 2012, the business has stated as its purpose “Technology Research and Development.”

Photo credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com

Complaint in Lexington Luminance LLC v. Google, Inc.

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Apple, Inc. was hit with a patent infringement lawsuit Thursday (read it below) alleging that the company’s iPad 3 tablets and Macbook Pro computers violate four light emitting diode (LED) patents. The case was filed in in federal court in Delaware by claimed patent holder LED Tech Development LLC, a Delaware limited liability company based in Tyler, Texas, the city that is a patent litigator’s combat zone.

Each of the four infringement claims, the complaint charges, involve Apple “products utilizing pulse-width modulation signals to drive light-emitting diodes.” Apple’s newest iPad a/k/a the ‘iPad 3,’ and Macbook Pro are named specifically.
Continue reading →

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Ameranth, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Apple, Inc. earlier this week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California alleging that Apple’s new Passbook product infringes on Ameranth’s patented technology.

According to the complaint, Ameranth develops products to generate and synchronize menus and hospitality information across fixed, wireless, and web platforms. It claims to have been nominated by Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, for the 2001 Computerworld Honors Award, which it won. The complaint further alleges that Gates described the company as “one of the leading pioneers of information technology for the betterment of mankind.”

Judging from the complaint, this suit seems unlike a typical “patent troll” suits, in which a small company that owns but often does not itself develop innovations sues a major technology company for infringement of obscure patents. These types of suits are commonly seen as using the patent system to hinder, rather than promote, innovation and creativity. In contrast, Ameranth seems to develop its own technologies and innovations, which could suggest the company’s lawsuit is driven by more than a desire for profit.

Ameranth alleges that Apple’s Passbook product infringes on the following patents:

  • U.S. Patent No. 6,384,850: “Information management and synchronous communications system with menu generation”
  • U.S. Patent No. 6,871,325: “Information management and synchronous communications system with menu generation”
  • U.S. Patent No. 6,982,733: “Information management and synchronous communications system with menu generation, and handwriting and voice modification of orders”
  • U.S. Patent No. 8,146,077: “Information management and synchronous communications system with menu generation, and handwriting and voice modification of orders”

One notable aspect of the complaint is that Ameranth alleges that Apple knows of its patents because Apple cites Ameranth patents as a prior art reference in two of its own patents.

Read the Complaint in Ameranth Inc. v. Apple Inc.

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Facebook and Apple have been hit with another patent infringement lawsuit brought by small, relatively obscure research/technology companies. Yesterday, PersonalWeb Technologies and Level 3 Communications filed a suit against both technology companies in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The two plaintiff companies allegedly each own an undivided 50 percent interest in the patents at issue.

In the case against Facebook, the patents at issue are:

  • U.S. Patent No. 5,978,791: “Data processing system using substantially unique identifiers to identify data items, whereby identical data items have the same identifiers”
  • U.S. Patent No. 6,415,280: “Identifying and requesting data in network using identifiers which are based on contents of data”
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,802,310: “Controlling access to data in a data processing system”

In the case against Apple, these three patents are at issue, as well as:

  • U.S. Patent No. 7,945,539: “Distributing and accessing data in a data processing system”
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,945,544: “Similarity-based access control of data in a data processing system”
  • U.S. Patent No. 8,001,096: “Computer file system using content-dependent file identifiers”

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Yesterday, the Regents of the University of California and Eolas Technologies, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Facebook in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The suit alleges that Facebook has infringed on four different patents owned by the Regents and to which Eolas has an exclusive license.

Eolas was founded by Dr. Michael D. Doyle, who, according to the company website, previously served as Director for the Center of Knowledge Management at the University of California – San Francisco. During his tenure there, Dr. Doyle reportedly led a team of researchers to develop technology that led to the 5,838,906 patent (“’906 Patent”) entitled “Distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document.” According to the Eolas Technologies website, the patent “enabled Web browsers for the first time to act as platforms for fully-interactive embedded applications.”

The ’906 Patent has been the subject of prior litigation. In 2007, Eolas and the Regents of the University of California were awarded a $565 judgment against Microsoft. The award was stayed on appeal, and the parties subsequently settled for a confidential amount. Continue reading →