Articles Tagged with Apple

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 →

Yesterday, December 6, a Canadian company filed two lawsuits against Apple, alleging that the Cupertino, California, company infringed on several of its patents. One lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, names both Wi-LAN (the Canadian corporation) and Wi-LAN USA (its subsidiary) as the plaintiffs. The other lawsuit was filed on behalf of only the Canadian corporation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Both lawsuits target Apple products compliant with the Third Generation Partnership Project – Long Term Evolution (“3GPP LTE”) standard, specifically the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPad (3rd Generation).

The Texas lawsuit alleges infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,381,211, entitled “Processing data transmitted and received over a wireless link connecting a central terminal and a subscriber terminal of a wireless telecommunications system” and issued in 2002. Wi-LAN seeks damages and an injunction against Apple for manufacturing and selling 3GPP-complaint products that allegedly infringe on its patented system.

The lawsuit filed in Florida alleges infringement on U.S. Patent No. 8,315,640, entitled “Methods and systems for transmission of multiple modulated signals over wireless networks.” It also alleges that Apple’s products infringe on U.S. Patent No. 8,311,040, entitled “Packing source data packets into transporting packets with fragmentation.” Both patents were filed in 2010 and issued only last month, November 2012.

Complaint in Wi-LAN USA, Inc. v. Apple Inc. (S.D. Fla.) Continue reading →

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.

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”

On Friday, a California company called Innovative Automation LLC filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, the complaint alleges that Apple’s iCloud product infringes on a patent owned by Innovative Automation.

The first patent at issue, U.S. Patent No. 7,174,362, is entitled “Method and System for Supplying Products from Pre-Stored Digital Data in Response to Demands Transmitted via Computer Network” and was issued in 2007. Innovative Automation claims that Apple’s iCloud product and service infringes on this patent in the way that it duplicates digital data.

The complaint also alleges that iCloud infringes on a second patent owned by the plaintiff—U.S. Patent No. 7,392,283, entitled “Method and System for Supplying Products from Pre-Stored Digital Data in Response to Demands Transmitted Via Computer Network” and issued in 2008. According to the complaint, Apple’s iCloud product and service infringes on this patent for the same reason as its other patent.

According to a business search through the California Secretary of State, the company Innovative Automation was created in 2011 and is based in San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley. Its registered agent is Sungil Lee, who is CEO of an education software company called Innovative Knowledge, Inc. Lee is also named as the inventor of both patents at issue in this case.

As the blog Patently Apple points out, “this plaintiff has filed a similar lawsuit against Amazon within the last 24 hours claiming that their Kindle and distribution service “Cloud Player” violates the very same patents used against Apple.” Continue reading →

Yesterday, on November 12, 2012, Texas company NovelPoint Tracking LLC filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. for patent infringement. Brought in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, the suit alleges that certain Apple products, and specifically the iPhone 4S, infringe on a patent owned by the plaintiff.

That patent, U.S. Patent No. 6,442,485, is entitled “Method and Apparatus for an Automatic Vehicle Location, Collision Notification, and Synthetic Voice,” and was registered with the USPTO on August 27, 2002. NovelPoint Tracking asserts that it is the exclusive owner of all rights, title, and interest in the patent, which was originally invented by Wayne W. Evans. The patent essentially describes using a method of using a GPS module to determine a vehicle or product’s location.

Relatedly, NovelPoint Tracking recently brought a lawsuit against Ford, alleging that its SYNC project infringes on two of its patents—6,442,485 (the patent at issue in the case against Apple) and 6,266,617.

A snippy apology is apparently not what the judges involved in Apple’s U.K. patent litigation over Samsung tablets ordered, according to testy statements made at a U.K. Court of Appeal hearing today.

Judge Robin Jacob court told Apple and Samsung lawyers this morning that the iPad maker had 24 hours to revise its currently published statement about the verdict in favor of Samsung on Apple’s UK website, replace it with a new one apologizing for inaccuracies, put the link on its home page, and use at least an 11-point font.

The website notice that Apple published last Friday highlighted a lower court judge’s statement that the Samsung tablets involved in the lawsuit “are not as cool” as Apple’s iPad.  Apple also piled on a host of earlier judicial platitudes emphasizing that the iPad has “extreme simplicity . . . is striking . . . . It is a cool design.”

The original July 18, 2012 order by Judge Colin Birss of the Patent Court, granted Samsung’s request to require Apple to publish a simple, one-paragraph statement on its website, and in a number of print publications:

“On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronics (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet computers, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design 000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High Court is available via the following link [insert hyperlink].”

Judge Birss ordered Apple to publish the notice only in the U.K., denying Samsung’s request that Apple publish it on each of the company’s country-specific European websites. He also rejected Samsung’s request that the notice be on Apple’s UK website for a year, concluding that six months was more appropriate. The judge’s rationale was that “this a very fast moving industry and I bear in mind the risk of prejudice to Apple” of a more extended publication requirement. Continue reading →

Last Friday, Intercarrier Communications LLC (“ICC”), a Texas limited liability company, filed lawsuits against at least thirteen different technology companies, including Apple Inc. Other defendants include the makers of such popular apps as TextNow and PingChat! (by Enflick), Viber, WhatsApp, and Glympse. The lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which seems on its face unusual for a Texas company.

In its suit against Apple, ICC alleges that Apple Messages and FaceTime products for iOS and OS X infringe on a patent it owns, U.S. Patent No. 6,985,748. According to its description, that patent is entitled “Inter-carrier Messaging Service Providing Phone Number Only Experience” and was invented by Chris Knotts. All of Knotts’s registered patents are related to inter-carrier messaging. According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, ICC registered with the Secretary of State on April 23, 2012.

Complaint in Intercarrier Communications LLC v. Apple Inc.

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”).

Continue reading →

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 →