Facebook and Apple Sued For Patent Infringement Over Data Handling


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”