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New patent lawsuit targets Apple over iPhone 5's call forwarding feature

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Apple is the target of yet another patent lawsuit, as a Texas-based telecommunications firm is suing the iPhone maker over the call forwarding feature built into the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.

patents


Bluebonnet Telecommunications filed suit against Apple on Tuesday, claiming that the Cupertino company infringed on U.S. Patent No. 5,485,511, which covers a "method and apparatus for determining the telephony features assigned to a telephone." Bluebonnet has held the 511 patent since June of 1996, and the company alleges that "Apple ... offered for sale products and/or systems (including at least the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5) that infringed one or more claims of the 511 patent."

The suit further holds that Apple "induces end-user customers" to use the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 in a way that infringes the 511 patent. The company, Bluebonnet holds, does so by explaining the devices' features and touting said features.

In the 511 patent ? which used to belong to Siemens Rolm Communications ? a telephone communicates with a central switch to generate a list of assigned telephony features. A device can then display those features to a user in order to demonstrate which features are available to the user at the time.

Bluebonnet's suit claims that Apple's call forwarding feature infringes on this patent. While the suit does not go into detail regarding the manner in which the features violate the patent, it does state that "the accused features that allow call forwarding have no practical use other than uses that infringe the 511 patent."

Bluebonnet is seeking a permanent injunction enjoining Apple from infringing the 511 patent, along with financial damages resulting from the infringement. The company is also requesting pre-judgment and post-judgment interest on "the damage caused by Apple's infringing activities and other conduct."

The case ? Civil Action No. 2:13-cv-00513 ? was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. No judge has yet been assigned.

post #2 of 37
You spelled iPhone wrong (iPohne)
post #3 of 37

so now call forwarding is a patent, c'mon droid users complain about Apple suing them....this is getting ridiculous. Hey, somebody sucked in Oxygen, I have a Patent on "Lung expansion and contraction of sole purpose to collect air in which to live".

 
post #4 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by planetrocke View Post

You spelled iPhone wrong (iPohne)

Does AI use Macs? If so this very obvious typo would have been made even more obvious by the presence of a dotted red line. Or perhaps it is just their CMS which, like the horrible forum software and IOS software breaks basic Mac and IOS functionality. :(

post #5 of 37

Does anyone know if of all the patents Apple was granted for the iPhone, if their version of call forwarding was  patented?

 

That way Apple can go back to Bluebonnet and say copy you?  Nah-Ahh!

/

/

Guess everything doesn't taste better with Bluebonnet on it!  Wonder when the butter people will sue the computer people?

/

/

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenapple3317 View Post

so now call forwarding is a patent, c'mon droid users complain about Apple suing them....this is getting ridiculous. Hey, somebody sucked in Oxygen, I have a Patent on "Lung expansion and contraction of sole purpose to collect air in which to live".

 

 

Yet another patent troll company.  The patent system is so screwed up. When you have companies trading patents in order to sued someone at some point, its just plain broken.

post #7 of 37

I want an iPohne
 

post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenapple3317 View Post

so now call forwarding is a patent...

Nope, try again.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #9 of 37

This lawsuit is meritless. Apple doesn't sell a product called teh iPohne.

post #10 of 37
Quote:

a telephone communicates with a central switch to generate a list of assigned telephony features. A device can then display those features to a user in order to demonstrate which features are available to the user at the time.
 

So they haven't patented the concept of call forwarding, they've patented the ability of the phone to let the user know that it's able to forward calls? How exactly is this a novel idea?

post #11 of 37
I'm failing to understand what the iPhone has got to do with this patent. I presume they mean iOS tailored for the iPhone, but why don't they say that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Does AI use Macs? If so this very obvious typo would have been made even more obvious by the presence of a dotted red line. Or perhaps it is just their CMS which, like the horrible forum software and IOS software breaks basic Mac and IOS functionality. 1frown.gif

I get that red line when I type iOS incorrectly, but perhaps I'm typing it wrong¿
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
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How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
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post #12 of 37

Not so.

 

You'd be surprised at the number of 'ghost' companies that Apple and Google have that are buying up patents. As for patents harming Apple's business - we'll their financials would say otherwise. And lets NOT forget that Microsoft earns more from it's Android patents than it does Windows Phone sales.

 

Patents are just another business tool employed by businesses. 

post #13 of 37

iPohne?  maybe someone already trademarked iPony.

post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

This lawsuit is meritless. Apple doesn't sell a product called teh iPohne.

That's what Apple calls the iPhone in Texas - so the average Texan can understand the name.

post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidste View Post

iPohne?  maybe someone already trademarked iPony.

 

My Little iPony.

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post #16 of 37

I thought call forwarding was done at a network level, not by the handset.

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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Cranstone View Post

Not so.

You'd be surprised at the number of 'ghost' companies that Apple and Google have that are buying up patents. As for patents harming Apple's business - we'll their financials would say otherwise. And lets NOT forget that Microsoft earns more from it's Android patents than it does Windows Phone sales.

Patents are just another business tool employed by businesses. 

Yes but both actually make products/services that might use the patents. Besides, it's one way to protect themselves from patent trolls.
post #18 of 37
What forwarding feature? Don't recall seeing that.
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post #19 of 37
Sounds like they waited until the last possible moment to file it too. I don't know what the lifespan of a patent is now, but June 1996 to June 2013 is 17 years, which is what the lifespan used to be.
post #20 of 37

AT&T was doing this long before this patent and I'd be surprised if there isn't an AT&T patent already that superseded this.   Siemens surely didn't invent this.  That I know for sure.

post #21 of 37
Ah, the venerable Eastern District of Texas patent troll court. What a way for a town to make a living!.
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jax44 View Post

Ah, the venerable Eastern District of Texas patent troll court. What a way for a town to make a living!.

 

There is no such thing as a patent troll. There are property rights and there are entities that may or may not be violating those rights. The courts decide. The use of inflammatory language by people without an understanding of the issues (and I include the prez in this criticism) does not change facts.

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post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

My Little iPony.

iPonyno, iPonyalamino, and AirSpurs to be released this fall.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #24 of 37
I love the part about how Apple "induces users to use the functionality" by letting them know the functionality is available, like it would have been okay if Apple had violated the patent, but didn't let the users know the feature was available.

I also love the "..at least the iPhone 4s and 5.." comment as if Bluebonnet didn't bother to figure out if Apple's other phones infringe the patent or not.

As others have stated, the patent system has become ridiculous. You shouldn't be able to patent the concept of call forwarding, only the specific methodology. And displaying the capability to the user should not be patentable under any circumstances. Besides, call forwarding was developed more than 25 years ago - why is there still a patent on it?
post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

I love the part about how Apple "induces users to use the functionality" by letting them know the functionality is available, like it would have been okay if Apple had violated the patent, but didn't let the users know the feature was available.
...

As others have stated, the patent system has become ridiculous. You shouldn't be able to patent the concept of call forwarding, only the specific methodology. And displaying the capability to the user should not be patentable under any circumstances. Besides, call forwarding was developed more than 25 years ago - why is there still a patent on it?

No one is patenting a concept, you should know better than that.

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post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

There is no such thing as a patent troll. There are property rights and there are entities that may or may not be violating those rights. The courts decide. The use of inflammatory language by people without an understanding of the issues (and I include the prez in this criticism) does not change facts.

You may be in the minority in claiming there's no such thing as patent trolls. Besides the President, patent professionals at the blog site PatentlyO use the term and acknowledges they exist. So does The Essential Patent Blog. So does PatentlyApple. The Chief Judge of the US Appeals Court Federal Circuit, Randall Rader, has suggestions on how they should be dealt with. Florian Mueller says they exist too, but he's funny about it. The only trolls are the ones suing Android device makers or Google. Otherwise he calls them Patent Assertion Entities or Non-Practicing Entities. 1rolleyes.gif1biggrin.gif

http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2006/05/what_is_a_paten.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/05/opinion/make-patent-trolls-pay-in-court.html?_r=0

http://www.fosspatents.com/2013/06/samsung-sides-with-patent-troll.html
but when it's Google they're suing he calls them "NPE's"
"Intellectual Ventures ("IV"), the world's largest non-practicing entity,"
http://www.fosspatents.com/2013/06/intellectual-ventures-files-second.html
Edited by Gatorguy - 6/20/13 at 8:38am
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post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You may be in the minority in claiming there's no such thing as patent trolls. Besides the President, patent professionals at the blog site PatentlyO use the term and acknowledges they exist. So does The Essential Patent Blog. So does PatentlyApple. The Chief Judge of the US Appeals Court Federal Circuit, Randall Rader, has suggestions on how they should be dealt with. Florian Mueller says they exist too, but he's funny about it. The only trolls are the ones suing Android device makers or Google. Otherwise he calls them Patent Assertion Entities or Non-Practicing Entities. 1rolleyes.gif1biggrin.gif

http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2006/05/what_is_a_paten.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/05/opinion/make-patent-trolls-pay-in-court.html?_r=0

http://www.fosspatents.com/2013/06/samsung-sides-with-patent-troll.html
but when it's Google they're suing he calls them "NPE's"
"Intellectual Ventures ("IV"), the world's largest non-practicing entity,"
http://www.fosspatents.com/2013/06/intellectual-ventures-files-second.html

"...Detkin is the man who coined the term "patent troll." He came up with it back in in 1999, when he was working for Intel."

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/07/26/138576167/when-patents-attack

The term is loaded and expresses the point of view of people defending against lawsuits which MAY or MAY NOT be valid, a judgment which does not belong to litigants or third parties, including the president... whom I consider a complete failure as a constitutional law professor.

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post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

"...Detkin is the man who coined the term "patent troll." He came up with it back in in 1999, when he was working for Intel."

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/07/26/138576167/when-patents-attack

The term is loaded and expresses the point of view of people defending against lawsuits which MAY or MAY NOT be valid, a judgment which does not belong to litigants or third parties, including the president... whom I consider a complete failure as a constitutional law professor.

I agree it can certainly be selectively used as a loaded term. You only have to look as far as FossPatents to see that. PAE's become trolls when it's useful to him.

At the same time companies that operate only to assert patents, laying low until a particular feature becomes commercially successful before making anyone aware they're claiming exclusive rights to it does sound much like the Mother Goose story of the bridge trolls doesn't it?
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post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I agree it can certainly be selectively used as a loaded term. You only have to look as far as FossPatents to see that. PAE's become trolls when it's useful to him.

At the same time companies that operate only to assert patents, laying low until a particular feature becomes commercially successful before making anyone aware they're claiming exclusive rights to it does sound much like the Mother Goose story of the bridge trolls doesn't it?

That's the thing about these lawsuits...it wouldn't make sense to sue if there was no possibility of material gain. Lawsuits can be very costly and very time consuming. Only an idiot would sue to serve their own ego.

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post #30 of 37
Interesting stuff today concerning PAE"s, sometimes affectionately referred to as patent trolls. The FTC may be working on legal strategies to deal with them, perhaps including anti-trust action.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/business/ftc-is-said-to-plan-inquiry-of-frivolous-patent-lawsuits.html?pagewanted=all
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post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Interesting stuff today concerning PAE"s, sometimes affectionately referred to as patent trolls. The FTC may be working on legal strategies to deal with them, perhaps including anti-trust action.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/business/ftc-is-said-to-plan-inquiry-of-frivolous-patent-lawsuits.html?pagewanted=all

 

That actually came out yesterday. Also, before there are any changes to patent law I expect many, many lawsuits from competing business interests, in addition to individual patent owners filing class-action suits.

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post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

There is no such thing as a patent troll. There are property rights and there are entities that may or may not be violating those rights. The courts decide. The use of inflammatory language by people without an understanding of the issues (and I include the prez in this criticism) does not change facts.

 

Anyone who is using patents solely for purposes other than that for which they are issued,

 

Quote:
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts

 

is a patent troll. So-called "intellectual property" companies are gaming the system for profit with no intention of promoting progress and their actions actually hinder it. Patents are an artificial right, a privilege, granted for a specific purpose. Those who abuse this privilege should have it revoked.

 

As well, anyone attempting to "double dip" is a patent troll. This includes companies like Lodsys, and sadly, Samsung.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

No one is patenting a concept, you should know better than that.

 

No one is supposed to be able to patent a concept, but, unfortunately, due to a lack of understanding of technology and the sheer number of patents filed for, lots of people have and are patenting concepts. Concept patents are the bread and butter of the patent troll industry. The patent discussed in this article is a concept patent.

 

Reality denial doesn't change the facts, and denying the existence of patent trolls doesn't make them go away.


Edited by anonymouse - 6/21/13 at 5:10am
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Anyone who is using patents solely for purposes other than that for which they are issued,


is a patent troll. So-called "intellectual property" companies are gaming the system for profit with no intention of promoting progress and their actions actually hinder it. Patents are an artificial right, a privilege, granted for a specific purpose. Those who abuse this privilege should have it revoked.

As well, anyone attempting to "double dip" is a patent troll. This includes companies like Lodsys, and sadly, Samsung.


No one is supposed to be able to patent a concept, but, unfortunately, due to a lack of understanding of technology and the sheer number of patents filed for, lots of people have and are patenting concepts. Concept patents are the bread and butter of the patent troll industry. The patent discussed in this article is a concept patent.

Reality denial doesn't change the facts, and denying the existence of patent trolls doesn't make them go away.

You are demonstrating a very loose understanding of facts.

Number one, here is the full quote you partially cited: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

That quote is from the Constitution and it does not contain the details or distinctions between copyrights, trademarks and patents.

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post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


You are demonstrating a very loose understanding of facts.

Number one, here is the full quote you partially cited: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

That quote is from the Constitution and it does not contain the details or distinctions between copyrights, trademarks and patents.

 

Your understanding of the English language and thought process appears to be rather loose, leading me to believe you don't have a clue about "the facts". You do get a point for recognizing that the quoted text is part of the Copyright Clause of the Constitution. But, you lose 10 points for not realizing that I quoted the relevant part of it, since I was speaking to its purpose. You lose another 10 points for the wholly irrelevant statement in your last sentence. Lastly you lose the rest of your points for your entire post not addressing any points made in the post you replied to. 

post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post
 

 

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

There is no such thing as a patent troll. There are property rights and there are entities that may or may not be violating those rights. The courts decide. The use of inflammatory language by people without an understanding of the issues (and I include the prez in this criticism) does not change facts.

 

Anyone who is using patents solely for purposes other than that for which they are issued,

 

Quote:
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts

 

is a patent troll. So-called "intellectual property" companies are gaming the system for profit with no intention of promoting progress and their actions actually hinder it. Patents are an artificial right, a privilege, granted for a specific purpose. Those who abuse this privilege should have it revoked.

 

As well, anyone attempting to "double dip" is a patent troll. This includes companies like Lodsys, and sadly, Samsung.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

No one is patenting a concept, you should know better than that.

 

No one is supposed to be able to patent a concept, but, unfortunately, due to a lack of understanding of technology and the sheer number of patents filed for, lots of people have and are patenting concepts. Concept patents are the bread and butter of the patent troll industry. The patent discussed in this article is a concept patent.

 

Reality denial doesn't change the facts, and denying the existence of patent trolls doesn't make them go away.

 

 

Just for fun, let's review just one of your comments:

 

COMMENT:  "Anyone who is using patents for purposes other than that for which they are issued, 'To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts'"

 

RESPONSE:  Patents are property (commonly referred to as "intellectual property") and property rights are well established in the US, as enumerated in the Constitution. Property may be bought, sold, traded or the owner may simply to do nothing with it. "Progress" is a relative term, quite open to interpretation. There is plenty of precedent and property law applies.

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post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

Just for fun, let's review just one of your comments:

 

COMMENT:  "Anyone who is using patents for purposes other than that for which they are issued, 'To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts'"

 

Just for fun, here's the complete comment:

 

 

Quote:

Anyone who is using patents solely for purposes other than that for which they are issued,

 

Quote:
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts

 

is a patent troll. So-called "intellectual property" companies are gaming the system for profit with no intention of promoting progress and their actions actually hinder it. Patents are an artificial right, a privilege, granted for a specific purpose. Those who abuse this privilege should have it revoked.

 

You've gone into negative point territory now.

 

As for your "response", intellectual property is not the same as other recognized "property", as is clear from its different basis in law. Conflating them doesn't make an argument.

post #37 of 37
I really do have a patent covering the collection of patient data in a physicians location for the improvement of healthcare using a mobile device

I am just sitting here waiting for enough of the giants to use it then I am moving to Texas

that last bit was a joke
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