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Apple sued over Passbook by hospitality software maker Ameranth

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ameranth, a leading developer of internet and software solutions for the hospitality marketplace, filed suit against Apple's Passbook digital ticketing app, claiming patent infringement in an ongoing effort to enforce its wireless technology IP.

Ameranth
Source: Ameranth


While Apple's fledgling Passbook has yet to reach full stride, currently only offering support for a handful of apps, Ameranth last week lodged a complaint against Apple claiming infringement of four patents, one of which was cited as prior art in an iPhone property which listed late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs as an inventor.

Licensing its products under the "21st Century Communications" and "21st Century Restaurant" names, Ameranth manufactures and sells hospitality, entertainment, restaurant and food service IT solutions to a broad list of clients.

According to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the Delaware corporation operating out of San Diego is asserting its "Information Management and Synchronous Communications" patent family, which the company claims "has been widely recognized as visionary." Some 14 frims have already licensed patents in the portfolio and Ameranth has been aggressively pursuing legal action against big-name companies like Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt, for alleged infringement of the wireless synchronization patents.

At issue is Passbook's ability to download and store airline boarding passes, hotel reservations, movie tickets and other digital passes on an iPhone or iPod touch. While the synchronization of pass data appears to be covered by Ameranth's patents, the unique barcode-based redemption system is not mentioned in the suit or corresponding IP language.

Ameranth's asserted patents:
  • U.S. Patent No. 6,384,850 for "Information management and synchronous communications system with menu generation"
  • U.S. Patent No. 6,871,325 and U.S. Patent No. 6,982,733, both continuations of the '850 patent.
  • U.S. Patent No. 8,146,077, a continuation of the '850 and '733 patents.

Ameranth Portfolio
Illustration of Ameranth's 21st Century Restaurant system.


It seems the four-patent portfolio was developed to be used by restaurant workers as point of sale, menu generation and gift card processing systems, among other hospitality-centric operations, not the broader client-based Apple Passbook. However, the granted IP is worded such that a court may find infringement, meaning Apple could be forced to settle or go through with a trial.

Ameranth claims Apple is well aware of the patent family as three of the properties listed above have been asserted in a number of suits against the Cupertino company's business partners, like OpenTable, Ticketmaster and Fandango, all of which are supported by Passbook. Due to Apple's alleged "willful infringement," Ameranth is seeking triple damages, attorney and court fees and "further relief that [the] Court may deem just and proper."

post #2 of 28

The images serve to make the joke, right?

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #3 of 28

Looks like a POS lawsuit to me.

post #4 of 28

Must be from early 21st Century (year 2001) so the image is technically correct. The handheld device has a stylus so it must be the Samsung Note. Oh wait. 

post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Looks like a POS lawsuit to me.

A point of sale lawsuit?

 

I'm just kidding, but I found it funny that you used POS in your reply, because when I first looked at the image in the OP, I read the bottom left as piece of shit terminal.

post #6 of 28

I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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post #7 of 28
Lawyer speak really is its own language. It doesn't take much to realize that I don't care enough about the subject to read any further.
post #8 of 28

Surely if iOS is in violation, Android must also be... and everyone knows Android is at least 10x bigger than iOS. :D

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Looks like a POS lawsuit to me.

A point of sale lawsuit?

 

I'm just kidding, but I found it funny that you used POS in your reply, because when I first looked at the image in the OP, I read the bottom left as piece of shit terminal.

 

So did I - hence my comment.

post #10 of 28
Cracks me up. They know their business is SOL and their hail mary is a lawsuit.
post #11 of 28
This looks absolutely bogus to me.

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #12 of 28

Looking at the pictures on their website, it looks like they are using Windows 3.1 for the OS on that POS. Twenty-first restaurant??  Hardly.

 

 
 
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While Apple's fledgling Passbook has yet to reach full stride, currently only offering support for a handful of apps, Ameranth last week lodged a complaint against Apple claiming infringement of four patents, one of which was cited as prior art in an iPhone property which listed late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs as an inventor.


They need a better attorney. A decent attorney would have told them that when Apple listed their patent as prior art, it's almost impossible to get the patent invalidated over that prior art. There is a VERY strong presumption that the patent office has reviewed the listed prior art.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #14 of 28

Wow, that looks so much like passbook! In fact, when I first saw that pic, I could have sworn I was looking at an iPhone with passbook! Uncanny resemblance!

post #15 of 28
These guys work in my industry. They sue *everyone* - big players (snapfinger, gomobo) and POS companies. And startups. They claim they invented online poker and ordering food on the Internet... I shit you not, they've sued dominos and Pizza Hut as well.

They're evil, scum and just patent trolls. I hope one or two things.

A) apple kills them with a steak through the heart
B) apple buys them and liberates everyone who's getting screwed by these crooks.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoamingGnome View Post

These guys work in my industry. They sue *everyone* - big players (snapfinger, gomobo) and POS companies. And startups. They claim they invented online poker and ordering food on the Internet... I shit you not, they've sued dominos and Pizza Hut as well.

They're evil, scum and just patent trolls. I hope one or two things.

A) apple kills them with a steak through the heart
B) apple buys them and liberates everyone who's getting screwed by these crooks.

That would have to be a seriously overcooked steak.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

That would have to be a seriously overcooked steak.

Or a T-bone.
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

That would have to be a seriously overcooked steak.

Or a T-bone.

 

True - that would do it.

post #19 of 28

This claim should be filed under "more proof that software patents should not exist".

The Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.
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The Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.
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post #20 of 28

Their business model is proprietary hardware and software which Apple is going to make obsolete.  They should just scramble and port their software and become the premier iOS integrator and ride the wave to prosperity instead of digging a hole.

 

Adapt or die.

post #21 of 28
Yikes....
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

They need a better attorney. A decent attorney would have told them that when Apple listed their patent as prior art, it's almost impossible to get the patent invalidated over that prior art. There is a VERY strong presumption that the patent office has reviewed the listed prior art.

Not to mention that the mechanics illustrated are NOT how passbook works. They are talking intranet, not Internet like Passbook

What's ironic is that I think they might have written the system Apple was using before the easypay touches. Remember those monster devices, ran Windows CE I believe it was. Staff would try to hide the screens to keep off any jokes.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #23 of 28

Fun Fact:

Two of the largest strategic investors in Ameranth are Microsoft . . . and Motorola! 

melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Fun Fact:

Two of the largest strategic investors in Ameranth are Microsoft . . . and Motorola! 

 

The plot thickens....

post #25 of 28
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post
The crap thickens....

 

Yep.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply
post #26 of 28
As usual its not possible that Apple is infringing on another companies IP! It's simple if they infringed, pay up, if they didn't then the other company can shut up and move on.

It's up to the courts to decide if their patent includes how Apple is doing Passbook. Now if the other litigants that are alleged to be infringing who also are a part of Passbook then by extension Apple could be infringing as well since they tie in.

Or not and this will get quashed.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

Their business model is proprietary hardware and software which Apple is going to make obsolete.  They should just scramble and port their software and become the premier iOS integrator and ride the wave to prosperity instead of digging a hole.

 

Adapt or die.

 

Either you forgot a /s tag or you wrote that backwards. Because iOS is more likely to make them obsolete. That would be why airports etc are using ipad based systems over theirs and similar

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

Their business model is proprietary hardware and software which Apple is going to make obsolete.  They should just scramble and port their software and become the premier iOS integrator and ride the wave to prosperity instead of digging a hole.

 

Adapt or die.

 

Either you forgot a /s tag or you wrote that backwards. Because iOS is more likely to make them obsolete. That would be why airports etc are using ipad based systems over theirs and similar

 

I think that is what he was saying.

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