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Mobile processor patent suit accuses Apple of 14 violations

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
Apple and a number of other major mobile device makers and service providers are the targets of a massive lawsuit over mobile processors from a company that has alleged the infringement of 14 separate patents.

Apple is one of a number of companies -- 22, to be exact -- that are named as defendants in the suit filed by California-based MicroUnity Systems Engineering. Apple's exclusive mobile provider in the U.S., AT&T, is also targeted because it sells the iPhone 3GS and "services utilizing and software utilized by such products."

Other companies named include Acer, Google, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Qualcomm, Samsung, Spring and Texas Instruments. The suit was filed last week in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, where patent complaints are commonly filed in hopes of a favorable outcome.

Specifically named in the suit are the iPhone 3GS and 32GB and 64GB capacities of the iPod touch. Other devices named include the Motorola Droid, Palm Pre, Google Nexus One, and Nokia N900.

According to the company's Web site, MicroUnity was founded in 1988 when it "aimed to extend microprocessors beyond their historical role as calculating and control devices, to make them the primary media-processing engines of televisions, set-top boxes, mobile computers, cellphones, and other digital communications devices."

MicroUnity Systems Engineering has previously filed suits against Intel, Dell, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and Advanced Micro Devices. The company's Web site states those suits were settled years ago.

The 14 patents named in the suit are:

U.S. Patent No. 5,737,547, "System for Placing Entries of an Outstanding Processor Request into a Free Pool After the Request Is Accepted by a Corresponding Peripheral Device."
U.S. Patent No. 5,742,840, "General Purpose, Multiple Precision Parallel Operation, Programmable Media Processor."
U.S. Patent No. 5,794,061, "General Purpose, Multiple Precision Parallel Operation, Programmable Media Processor."
U.S. Patent No. 6,006,318 C1, "General Purpose, Dynamic Partitioning, Programmable Media Processor."
U.S. Patent No. 6,427,190, "Configurable Cache Allowing Cache-Type and Buffer-Type Access."
U.S. Patent No. 6,725,356 C1, "System with Wide Operand Architecture, and Method."
U.S. Patent No. 7,213,131, "Programmable Processor and Method for Partitioned Group Element Selection Operation."
U.S. Patent No. 7,216,217 B2, "Programmable Processor with Group Floating-Point Operations."
U.S. Patent No. 7,260,708 B2, "Programmable Processor and Method for Partitioned Group Shift."
U.S. Patent No. 7,353,367 B2, "System and Software for Catenated Group Shift Instruction."
U.S. Patent No. 7,509,366 B2, "Multiplier Array Processing System with Enhanced Utilization at Lower Precision."
U.S. Patent No. 7,653,806 B2, "Method and Apparatus for Performing Improved Group Floating-Point Operations."
U.S. Patent No. 7,660,972 B2, "Method and Software for Partitioned Floating-Point Multiply-Add Operation."
U.S. Patent No. 7,660,973 B2, "System and Apparatus for Group Data Operations."

Earlier this month, a separate lawsuit targeted many of the same companies over a broad range of smartphone related patents. Apple's iPhone was specifically included in the suit, which alleged infringement of patents related to e-mail syncing and Bluetooth connectivity.

In its annual Form 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last October, Apple said it was then defending itself from more than 47 patent infringement cases, 27 of which were filed during the 2009 fiscal year. Those suits prove costly to defend, and sometimes Apple comes out on the losing end of a large payout. Last year, a Texas patent suit resulted in a 21.7 million ruling against Apple.
post #2 of 49
Interesting to know, but I'll let the courts sort this one out.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #3 of 49
Apple is one of a number of companies -- 22, to be exact

How about making that clear in the title?

"Mobile processor patent suit accuses Apple and others of 14 violations"
post #4 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Apple is one of a number of companies -- 22, to be exact

How about making that clear in the title?

"Mobile processor patent suit accuses Apple and others of 14 violations"

I find it interesting that Intel and AMD are listed as settling years back, but no mention of ARM.
post #5 of 49
Apple should buy these guys then go after the rest of the sob/s
post #6 of 49
Sounds like a "drift net" suit to me.
post #7 of 49
God, not another fishing expo
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iPhone 4 32GB (black), iPod touch 32GB, iPad Wi-Fi + 3G 64GB, iPod classic 80 GB (white) 160GB (black), 2x 5th gen iPod 30GB (black + white), iMac 27", MacBook Pro 17", Time Capsule 1TB, Apple TV
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post #8 of 49
Incredible. We say over here that Americans lose their time in courts, but it's a clear understatement. This stupid case demonstrates that the whole patent system is becoming inefficient, as it allows morons to hamper overall innovation. Bummer.
post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGod 2.0 View Post

God, not another fishing expo

Hey, who doesn't like fish?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #10 of 49
"The suit was filed last week in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas"

Say no more ...
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #11 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by EauVive View Post

Incredible. We say over here that Americans lose their time in courts, but it's a clear understatement. This stupid case demonstrates that the whole patent system is becoming inefficient, as it allows morons to hamper overall innovation. Bummer.

I agree. I'm thnking the solution is for patents to run out after so many years like they do for the drug companies. That way it will keep innovation moving along and companies can have their marketing edge for X number of years, but then these technologies can become part of the industrial landscape, and no one would own them after that point.
post #12 of 49
wow!! keep firing em patent violation lawsuits...
Get A Mac.
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Get A Mac.
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post #13 of 49
Unless you Americans can sort out this growing IP patent mess, you will see innovation follow manufacturing ... off shore.
post #14 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post

Unless you Americans can sort out this growing IP patent mess, you will see innovation follow manufacturing ... off shore.

At least we're not French.
post #15 of 49
Is this even news anymore?

Instead of the "Apple tax" maybe we should be talking about the "patent lawsuit tax" we all pay for our goods and services. It's sort of like when we found out that 50% of the cost of a ladder is to cover personal injury lawsuits.
post #16 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnePotato View Post

At least we're not French.

At least we're not Danish, Colombian or Uzbek.
post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnePotato View Post

At least we're not French.

Bigot much?
post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

"The suit was filed last week in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas"

Say no more ...

No doubt! Apple should buy the county. I'm sure it would be cheaper.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

"The suit was filed last week in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas"

Say no more ...

Amen...
post #20 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

I find it interesting that Intel and AMD are listed as settling years back, but no mention of ARM.

ARM doesn't manufacture anything, just license out their designs.
post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnePotato View Post

At least we're not French.

You retort with the virility of an impotent man.
post #22 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by EauVive View Post

Incredible. We say over here that Americans lose their time in courts, but it's a clear understatement. This stupid case demonstrates that the whole patent system is becoming inefficient, as it allows morons to hamper overall innovation. Bummer.

No argument here -- holy horse hockey, B@tm@n!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by iGod 2.0 View Post

God, not another fishing expo

Oh, yes, another one! Seems to be a "lawsuit-of-the-month" club for Apple in East Texas. I wonder what the grand running tally for this nonsense happens to be... Anybody keeping score?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Hey, who doesn't like fish?

A-hem... (I can't believe I'm quoting McDonald's!!!)

"Give me back that filet o fish
Give me that fish
Give me back that filet o fish
Give me that fish

What if it were you
Hanging up on this wall?
If it were you in that sandwich
You wouldnt be laughing at all!"

post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

ARM doesn't manufacture anything, just license out their designs.

This isn't about manufacturing. It's about the design. You don't see Nvidia in the suit and for sure their GPGPUs are doing all that is listed.
post #24 of 49
Curious, curious and curiouser. And just why has this company wait this long to file suit???? Did they notify any of the 22 named companies long ago that they were infringing on their patents?? Have they waited too long?? Only time will tell. May be one of the only times that these named companies may have to get along.
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #25 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zogg View Post

I agree. I'm thnking the solution is for patents to run out after so many years like they do for the drug companies. That way it will keep innovation moving along and companies can have their marketing edge for X number of years, but then these technologies can become part of the industrial landscape, and no one would own them after that point.

That's how it works now. The inventor must clearly and fully disclose in the application how the invention works. He then gets sole legal ability to make or license it for twenty years.

After the twenty years, the invention becomes free to anyone.
post #26 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

Did they notify any of the 22 named companies long ago that they were infringing on their patents??


They did, but were dismissed as crank callers, so to get attention a suit has to be filed.
post #27 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

... It's sort of like when we found out that 50% of the cost of a ladder is to cover personal injury lawsuits.

21% according to a 10-year old studies by American Tort Reform Association and the Public Policy Institute in New York. Still high, nonetheless.
Blindness is a condition as well as a state of mind.

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Blindness is a condition as well as a state of mind.

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post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

They did, but were dismissed as crank callers, so to get attention a suit has to be filed.

Usually this is done in a form of a letter and not a phone call--that way you have a record of the notification.
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #29 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Apple is one of a number of companies -- 22, to be exact

How about making that clear in the title?

"Mobile processor patent suit accuses Apple and others of 14 violations"

Mobile processor patent suit accuses Apple and 21 others of "violations"

Fixed that for you. (In more ways than one)
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #30 of 49
This suit, like Apple's against HTC and Nokia's against Apple, are frivolous and retarding technololgical advancements. Companies shouldn't be allowed to file these types of lawsuits.
Oh wait that was just Apple's lawsuit that's frivolous and retarding advancements.
Did I do that right Windows fanbois?
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http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp

Never argue with idiots, they'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. - a bumper sticker

Never quote idiots, they just clog up...
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post #31 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnePotato View Post

At least we're not French.

Everybody has his weaknesses
post #32 of 49
If only you could buy shares in lawyers.
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
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Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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post #33 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

If only you could buy shares in lawyers.

For Apple...it's what goes around comes around....... They sue you sue...we all sue....it's my IP no! It's my IP no it's my IP....they only one sure to get paid are the lawyers......

Tallest Skil:


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"The future is Apple, Google, and a third company that hasn't yet been created."


 


 

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Tallest Skil:


"Eventually Google will have their Afghanistan with Oracle and collapse"

"The future is Apple, Google, and a third company that hasn't yet been created."


 


 

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post #34 of 49
If any one wants to take the time to sort all of these patents out, you can go to the US Patent site @

http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm

and enter the patent number to check out the patent.
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #35 of 49
You can read a PDF of the actual lawsuit documentation on http://www.intomobile.com/2010/03/16...-and-more.html
post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

For Apple...it's what goes around comes around....... They sue you sue...we all sue....it's my IP no! It's my IP no it's my IP....they only one sure to get paid are the lawyers......

Apple's suit is no different to every other moron who is suing them first. They're just getting in first this time.

If I was being sued for this I would be suing the lawyer who filed the suit for being a dickhead. Maybe then more cases of "dickhead" suing will stop these dickhead cases from existing.
post #37 of 49
I live in Texas. A bunch of us should get together and go out to East Texas and start building a dam to wall this friggin town in. I bet enough people would be willing to pitch in to get the place completely enclosed by year's end. What do you say?
post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

I live in Texas. A bunch of us should get together and go out to East Texas and start building a dam to wall this friggin town in. I bet enough people would be willing to pitch in to get the place completely enclosed by year's end. What do you say?

Alternatively, get your friends together and file a class action against the court for the 'emotional distress and deep embarrassment' brought on you Texans by this mickey mouse operation. As far as I can tell, $18m seems to be the going rate in these type of cases.
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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post #39 of 49
To be honest I'm not going to rack my brain trying to read these patents but they might be valid. It is all about prior art. If so the company should defend them. At least they aren't trying to single Apple out.

The big problem here is proving validaty given that you have lawyers and judges involved. This technology is far removed from their educational back ground and all of it likely appears to be non obvious.

Dave
post #40 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

To be honest I'm not going to rack my brain trying to read these patents but they might be valid. It is all about prior art. If so the company should defend them. At least they aren't trying to single Apple out.

The big problem here is proving validaty given that you have lawyers and judges involved. This technology is far removed from their educational back ground and all of it likely appears to be non obvious.

Yes of course. I made a couple of flippant comments above, but IP has to have some protection for reasons that are well understood. This particularly applies the small guy in the face of Megacorps. Then on the other hand, vague generalised patents cause immense damage and hold back applied innovation to the detriment of all concerned except the plaintiff and both sets of lawyers, and the court itself of course. My cynicism here is this wretched court in east Texas. The argument for the ability to file a claim in your local court (which is being serially abused by this particular court) was established when it was not practical for people to travel great distances to file. These days it is possible. Perhaps there needs to be established one central institution, staffed by specialists that handles all IT IP suits. They would have the expertise to deal with each case without favour, but the idea that there is a 'homer' court is an affront to the justice system in my view.
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
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