or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › ITC investigates Apple after flash memory patent complaint
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

ITC investigates Apple after flash memory patent complaint

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
The U.S. International Trade Commission is investigating a number of technology companies that make or use NAND flash memory, including Apple, after a patent-related complaint was filed.

Pennsylvania-based BTG International filed a complaint last month alleging that Apple -- along with Sony, Samsung, Dell, Lenovo and others -- violated the company's patents on non-volatile programmable flash memory chips. The company's claims were detailed at the ITC Blog.

"The complaint alleges that (the companies) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and sell within the U.S. after importation certain MLC flash memory chips and products containing the same, which allegedly infringe BTG’s U.S. Patent Nos. 5,394,362, 5,764,571, 5,872,735, 6,104,640, and 6,118,692," the blog reads.

BTG International asserts that it owns inventions that involve "programming and reading flash memory cells that store more than a single bit of information per cell."

BTG International had already filed a patent infringement suit against Samsung in 2008 in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas. An additional lawsuit was filed in July and includes Apple and the other defendants from the ITC complaint, minus Samsung. Both suits originate from Eastern Texas, where complainants often file in hopes of a favorable outcome.

Apple recently prepaid for a half billion dollars' worth of NAND flash memory from Toshiba, a company not included in the BTG International complaint. However, Apple has purchased flash memory from Samsung, which is named in the suit, in the past.
post #2 of 16
Those patents are effectively for Flash memory.

In all honesty, I don't understand how they can include end users on this. The Flash manufaturers (Samsung, Toshiba etc.) could well be in violation of this, but not the end users.
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple recently prepaid for a half billion dollars' worth of NAND flash memory from Toshiba, a company not included in the BTG International complaint. However, Apple has purchased flash memory from Toshiba, which is named in the suit, in the past.

Toshiba is not included but it is included???
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Both suits originate from Eastern Texas, where complainants often file in hopes of a favorable outcome.

Don't all complainants everywhere hope for a favorable outcome?
Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
-Horacio Verbitsky (el perro), journalist (b. 1942)
Reply
Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
-Horacio Verbitsky (el perro), journalist (b. 1942)
Reply
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafe View Post

Don't all complainants everywhere hope for a favorable outcome?

I think the point was that they file in eastern Texas.
post #6 of 16
Oh, the frivolity!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafe View Post

Don't all complainants everywhere hope for a favorable outcome?

I think it is poorly written, but filing in Eastern District of Texas is basically forum shopping, you are more likely to get a favorable ruling than anywhere else. I've read it only takes having a PO box to qualify for filing there.
post #8 of 16
Another fine example of the ridiculous casework coming out of East Bumfrig, Texas.
Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
Reply
Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
Reply
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Those patents are effectively for Flash memory.

In all honesty, I don't understand how they can include end users on this. The Flash manufaturers (Samsung, Toshiba etc.) could well be in violation of this, but not the end users.

I believe that if you are the person that imports an infringing item into a jurisdiction, then you are an infringer.

They say as much in their complaint.

The point of that is to stop the creation of an infringing item elsewhere - perhaps where the infringer can't be reached - and then bringing the items back.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

I believe that if you are the person that imports an infringing item into a jurisdiction, then you are an infringer.

They say as much in their complaint.

The point of that is to stop the creation of an infringing item elsewhere - perhaps where the infringer can't be reached - and then bringing the items back.

Agreed, but, if you buy Samsung memory (which Apple very much do!) they buy it from Samsung of America.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Agreed, but, if you buy Samsung memory (which Apple very much do!) they buy it from Samsung of America.

Do they? I really don't know how Samsung does things, the thing is, a US patent doesn't apply to the rest of the world, I wonder if going through Samsung of America might mean they have to pay for added US patent royalties even for parts made outside of the US meant for somewhere else outside the US. Besides, the chips would be made in Korea and shipped to China, never touching the US.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jglavin View Post

Toshiba is not included but it is included???

Apple recently prepaid for a half billion dollars' worth of NAND flash memory from Toshiba, a company not included in the BTG International complaint. However, Apple has purchased flash memory from Samsung, which is named in the suit, in the past.

SORRY typo we fixed it.
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #13 of 16
I want you to know that I will soon be patenting any and all digital representation of the word 'the', including but not limited to computer programs, word documents and web pages.

I'm gonna be sooooo rich.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Agreed, but, if you buy Samsung memory (which Apple very much do!) they buy it from Samsung of America.

I see your point, but if the deal is made with the Korean arm of Samsung, it's not so clear anymore. I don't know that answer to that question. Does a hardware vendor typically negotiate in the market of destination or that of manufacture, eg where iPods are produced.?
post #15 of 16
BTG international is a pharmaceutical company, go figure.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Agreed, but, if you buy Samsung memory (which Apple very much do!) they buy it from Samsung of America.

I can guarantee you Apple does not buy from Samsung America, since all their manufacturing is off shore, it is bought from either the parent company in Korea directly of one of their Asian business entities. Remember Apple is the one importing a product into the US which contains a product which is alleged to have parts which infringe upon a US patent holder.

In the past you use to be only able to sue the company who actually made the product who infringes on your patent. However the courts have ruled that end user of technologies who use product which infringe on US patents can also be sued since they too profited from the technology infringement.

Many company now require component manufacture to warranty against such activities. I would bet that Apple has and agreement in place with their supplier that if a lawsuit arises like this the supplier will pay all damages if the patent holder wins.

This is a stand tactic in patent lawsuits, sue everyone to find the one with deep pockets and low risk tolerance because as soon as one folds and gives in the rest fall.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › ITC investigates Apple after flash memory patent complaint