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St. Clair accuses Apple, RIM, HTC of patent infringement

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants, a firm that sued Apple a year ago over camera-related patents, has filed a new suit in relation to patents it owns regarding power maintenance and processors.

In a new lawsuit filed last week, St. Clair has taken aim at a number of major device makers: Apple, Research in Motion, and HTC Corp, along with its subsidiary, Exedea. The complaint, filed in a U.S. District Court in the District of Delaware, accuses the companies of infringing upon seven patents owned by St. Clair.
U.S. Patent No. 5,630,163: Computer having a single bus supporting multiple bus architectures operating with different bus parameters
U.S. Patent No. 5,710,929: Multi-state power management for computer systems
U.S. Patent No. 5,758,175: Multi-mode power switching for computer systems
U.S. Patent No. 5,892,959: Computer activity monitor providing idle thread and other event sensitive clock and power control
U.S. Patent No. 6,079,025: System and method of computer operating mode control for power consumption reduction
U.S. Patent No. 5,822,610: Mappable functions from single chip/multi-chip processors for computers
Named in the suit by St. Clair are the iOS mobile operating system and products that run it, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

In its complaint, St. Clair says that the firm offered to license the power management technology in four of the patents -- '929, '959, '025 and '175 -- in a letter set to Apple on Oct. 13, 2000. It also names five Apple patent applications rejected by the U.S. Patent Office in which St. Clair's power management patents were cited as prior art.

The suit also notes that Apple has been involved in multiple other patent infringement suits related to power management technology in which the patents in suit "were considered by Apple." Cited were lawsuits against Apple filed by Optimum Power Solutions, Elonex and Saxon Innovations, as well as Apple's ongoing legal dispute with HTC.

St. Clair also argued that Apple was aware of its patents because of its transition to Intel processors for its entire line of Mac computers. The complaint accuses Apple of "disregard" of the seven patents named.



The most recent suit is St. Clair's second active legal action against Apple. Last October, the firm sued Apple, RIM and numerous other companies over a number of digital imaging patents owned by St. Clair.

Legal action over patents has proven to be very profitable for St. Clair. The firm was awarded $25 million in a lawsuit against Sony Electronics and Sony Corporation of America in 2003. In 2004, a jury awarded $34.7 million to St. Clair in a complaint against Canon USA. And in 2004, a separate suit against Fuji related to the same imaging patents resulted in a jury-awarded $3 million in damages.
post #2 of 15
So ridiculous... What's Apple's annual spend on defending patents in baseless lawsuits like this? I bet it's a good chunk.
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post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

U.S. Patent No. 5,710,929: Multi-state power management for computer systems
U.S. Patent No. 5,758,175: Multi-mode power switching for computer systems

Otherwise known as an on/off switch.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #4 of 15
Apple should just buy the company and all of its patents.
post #5 of 15
So is that Busty St. Clair? Or was it Hooty McBoob
post #6 of 15
Parasites, just like domain name squatters, these are awful industries. Just because it is legal does not make it right.
Companies that apply for patent of random ideas without ever producing anything, or really intending to produce anything, should not be awarded patents. Companies that actually work out the details and make the ideas work, are the ones that should be awarded the intellectual property rights...
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by applestockholder View Post

Parasites, just like domain name squatters, these are awful industries. Just because it is legal does not make it right.
Companies that apply for patent of random ideas without ever producing anything, or really intending to produce anything, should not be awarded patents. Companies that actually work out the details and make the ideas work, are the ones that should be awarded the intellectual property rights...

Agreed with zero attempt to develop anything and if it can be shown they were nothing more than shots in the dark the patents should be deemed void.
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by deuxlavabo View Post

So ridiculous... What's Apple's annual spend on defending patents in baseless lawsuits like this? I bet it's a good chunk.



They should make these guys pay Apple's lawyer bills just to file a time waster like this. If they had to do that, nobody would sue them because Apple could just tie them up in court until they run out of money.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Named in the suit by St. Clair are the iOS mobile operating system and products that run it, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

In its complaint, St. Clair says that the firm offered to license the power management technology in four of the patents -- '929, '959, '025 and '175 -- in a letter set to Apple on Oct. 13, 2000. It also names five Apple patent applications rejected by the U.S. Patent Office in which St. Clair's power management patents were cited as prior art.

The suit also notes that Apple has been involved in multiple other patent infringement suits related to power management technology in which the patents in suit "were considered by Apple." Cited were lawsuits against Appel filed by Optimum Power Solutions, Elonex and Saxon Innovations, as well as Apple's ongoing legal dispute with HTC.

I don't know what the actual patents say and they may prove to be things for which patents shouldn't have been given, but St. Clair does seem to have done their homework. You have to admit they have a case when they can prove they offered licenses and can show Apple has considered their patents in the past, and had their own patent applications rejected because of St. Clair's patents. Which is exactly the point - your invention is using something that another company already owns.

I wonder, though, what St. Clair could have been offering Apple in their letter back in 2000, long before any iOS devices. I also wonder what the transition to Intel has to do with it.
post #10 of 15
I'm astounded at how many patents Apple violates.
post #11 of 15
If a so called patent holder has not produced a product with realistic sales near the time that another company does, they should have their cases thrown out of court and be made to pay the defendants legal bills. The idea that they can have some vague idea on paper and get paid for sitting on it is ridiculous and costing all consumers in terms of the cost of legal fees.
post #12 of 15
Apple can afford to deal with these guys. It's all in the negotiations.

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GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pomme View Post

They should make these guys pay Apple's lawyer bills just to file a time waster like this. If they had to do that, nobody would sue them because Apple could just tie them up in court until they run out of money.

Which is exactly why it's a bad idea to "make those guys pay Apple's lawyer bills."
post #14 of 15
these sound somewhat legit.
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I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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post #15 of 15
and how many changes in technology between then and now between this letter offering to license and the lawsuit?

40 billion in cash in the bank being a lawsuit magnet is more to the point. Ten years ago, Apple was on the ropes. There is no profit in suing a company on principle when they have no cash.

But there sure is a possible profit in suing a company rich in cash 10 years later motivated by pure greed.
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