Apple, iOS app makers faces patent lawsuit over window display rotation

A new patent infringement lawsuit accuses Apple, Electronic Arts, Target, Whole Foods, and other companies of violating a U.S. patent “for selectively rotating windows on a computer display.”

The lawsuit by Rotatable Technologies, LLC, a non-practicing entity (NPE), alleges that Apple iPhones and iPads violate U.S. Patent No. 6,326,978 for letting users rotate their device displays using the patent’s method.

As iPhone and iPad users know, a key feature of these Apple devices is their ability to use an accelerometer or gyroscope to help you re-orient a display while reading an article, watching a movie, or browsing the Web.

The other named defendants are accused of making and selling iOS apps that let rotate their apps, like EA’s Scrabble® game, and Netflix streaming movies and TV shows, while keeping everything right-side-up.

The patent that Rotatable Technologies acquired was originally issued in 2001.

One part of the patent that summarizes the controversy well is that “the user is given the ability to reorient the information for proper or desired viewing.” (see an image from the patent above).

You can browse the case docket, and read the patent lawsuit below:

Plaintiff’s Original Complaint (Rotatable Technologies, LLC v. Apple, Inc., et al.