Apple lawsuit wrap-up for June 2013

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Apple lawsuit against Acacia

May 2013 brought the return of the Apple lawsuit patent troll and the end to the DOJ ebook trial.

  • Logic Devices sued Apple for willfully infringing their Patent 5,524,244 that covers a “system for dividing processing tasks into signal processor and decision-making microprocessor interfacing therewith.” They want a lot of money as compensation. Get more details at Patently Apple.
  • Let’s say you’re a lawyer working at the law firm Apple uses for many of their lawsuits, many of them dealing with patents. Now let’s say you own 35% of a company that used patents to sue Apple, and you’re found out. That’s what happened to John McAleese, formerly of the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Ars Technica has a very good write-up of who did what and how Apple is handling the situation.
  • Bluebonnet Telecommunications sued Apple for infringing their Patent 5,485,511 that they acquired from Siemens Rolm Communications. The patent covers a “method and apparatus for determining the telephony features assigned to a telephone.” Specifically it’s the call forwarding feature on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 that they claim violate the patent.
  • In 2008, Mirror Worlds sued Apple over patent violations and was awarded $625 million. Apple appealed and the initial ruling was reversed in a federal court, which meant Apple didn’t have to pay the fine. Mirror Worlds then appealed, but since the supreme court refused to hear the case, that means the federal court ruling is the final word.
  • If you have a child who made in-app purchases, then now is the time to see if you recoup some of your losses as a result of the class-action lawsuit. If you think you qualify for reimbursement, then head on over to the settlement website for details.
  • THX sued Apple for infringing their Patent 7,433,483 that covers a “narrow profile speaker configurations and systems.” In other words, it describes how to make small and thin speakers sound better. Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and some iMac models supposedly violate this patent. However, in a switch, THX and Apple are trying to resolve the issue out of court since they requested to postpone the hearing. Or maybe they’re just collecting more ammunition to pound the other into smithereens. Either way we’ll have to wait to find out what happens.
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and Dynamic Advances sued Apple (again) for Siri infringing their Patent 7,177,798 that covers a “natural language interface using constrained intermediate dictionary of results.” The original judge stepped down because of a conflict of interest.
  • Apple both won and lost in Japan as they found Samsung guilty of infringing Apple’s bounce-back patent and found Samsung didn’t violate Apple’s patents relating to media synchronization on mobile devices.
  • The U.S. International Trade Commission decided on June 4th to ban imports of Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPad 2 3G. Samsung’s patent lawsuit against Apple which “relates to 3G wireless technology, and applies only to the AT&T version of the phone” is a reason for the ruling. Apple will appeal the decision and President Obama has 60 days to review the order.
  • Apple’s trial against the DOJ over ebook price fixing has recently ended and The Verge has several articles about testimony and what it could all mean. You can start with the closing arguments and on the right side of the page there’s a Storystream section that has every other article about the trial.
  • FreedomWatch sued Apple, President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, NSA Director Keith Alexander, the NSA itself, the U.S. Department of Justice, Facebook, Google, YouTube, Microsoft, Skype, AOL, Yahoo, PalTalk, AT&T and Sprint over NSA’s PRISM intelligence program.
  • Apple and Amazon likely won’t come to a settlement on the Appstore name, and they’ll likely go to trial in August.
  • Taiwan’s MemSmart Semiconductor Corp. sued Apple over Patent 7,829,364 that covers a “method of fabricating a suspension microstructure.” This is a “fabrication method which effectively avoids improper corrosion and exposure.” MemSmart filed the case in the Texas Eastern District Court and is asking for a jury trial.
  • Apple’s request to include the Galaxy S4 in their current lawsuit was denied by the judge so they’re considering a new lawsuit.
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