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.