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Apple sued over iPhone's access to iTunes, camera chips

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Apple has been targeted twice in lawsuits this week by companies that claim patent infringement in the iPhone, the App Store, and even the chips that power its camera.

The most notable, from Affinity Labs, accuses Apple of violating three patents for sending information wirelessly to a portable device, including for browsing downloading online content such as music or voice mail that could then be copied or streamed to a handheld over a wireless network, including cellular service; they even describe a system that could dock the portable with a boombox or car stereo to carry music over without involving a second wireless link.

Affinity's 7-page suit, filed in a Lufkin Divsion, Eastern District of Texas US court, contends that the iPhone and iPod touch tread on each of the patents by themselves. However, the plaintiff also claims that making music available through iTunes, and software through the related App Store, also unfairly copy its own browsing, downloading and transferring techniques.

Apple was purportedly made aware of the oldest of the patents on its grant date in March 2007, though the two newer patents were granted relatively recently: one in October of last year, and one as late as February 2009. It's not apparent that Apple was made aware of either of these before this week's filing.

An example of online content browsing shared among Affinity's patents.

The second lawsuit is less direct and hopes to find Apple guilty by association. Submitted to a court in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas -- an area notorious for its friendliness to plaintiffs in patent lawsuits -- the complaint from Accolade Systems maintains that Aptina Imaging and Micron are violating a patent for detecting a camera's sensor intensity saturation by producing three CMOS image sensors.

By using at least one of these sensors in the iPhone, Apple is responsible for contributing to the violation of the patent, Accolade says. Notably, an original version of the lawsuit obtained by AppleInsider had mentioned Apple only incidentally and didn't include it as a defendant, revealing that Accolade had originally been content to sue just Aptina and Micron before deciding Apple could be a target as well.

In either of the lawsuits, both of the plaintiffs are less than certain about their goals and simply hope to land injunctions against Apple that stop it from infringing on their patents as well as unspecified damages they hope to determine in their respective jury trials.

As is nearly always the case in legal matters, Apple hasn't commented on either of the lawsuits.
post #2 of 33
Here we go with the endless 'patents are broken' comments etc etc...
post #3 of 33
I just don't understand how a company can sue on a patent granted 6 years after the product they are saying is infringing debuted???

iTunes launched in January of 2001 and the iPhone launched in June of 2007 and was announced in January 2007. All before the patents were even granted???
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

Here we go with the endless 'patents are broken' comments etc etc...

They are
post #5 of 33
LOL OMG... What's next? Apple gets sued for selling computers.
This is soo funny!
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post #6 of 33
what goes around, comes around.
Apple sues everyone for patents, now they are getting it back... Good!
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post #7 of 33
Wait.. Those guys patented a webpage layout?!! My understanding is that iTunes is a program similar to a browser (actually it is Safari with integrated media player in a way) designed to access specific website (Apple iTunes content). How do you patent a page layout? or worst how do you patent a file download?!!! LOOOOOL
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

Here we go with the endless 'patents are broken' comments etc etc...

I stay to stay out of those comments. I agree that they are, but I have no ideas on how to correct it... and I don't think anyone else on these boards do either.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bambuhiphop View Post

I just don't understand how a company can sue on a patent granted 6 years after the product they are saying is infringing debuted???

iTunes launched in January of 2001 and the iPhone launched in June of 2007 and was announced in January 2007. All before the patents were even granted???

I think it goes by the submission date.


Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

what goes around, comes around.
Apple sues everyone for patents, now they are getting it back... Good!

So you think that protecting your patents means you should be subjected to having your IP stolen? Nice logic!


Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Wait.. Those guys patented a webpage layout?!! My understanding is that iTunes is a program similar to a browser designed to access specific website (Apple iTunes content). How do you patent a page layout? or worst how do you patent a file download?!!! LOOOOOL

I'm thinking that there are many things that predate this patent. I wish we could get some closure on these things! We always read about the beginning but never the resolution.

Well, it does look like we'll get some juice Psystar stuff later this year. Either Psystar will go under or Apple will start selling OS X retail boxes for $500.
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post #9 of 33
Really. Name a few of these Apple patent suits. Remember, you said everybody so it should be easy for you to give a few examples. I personally can't think of one recent patent suit unless you count Apple counter suing Creative a few years ago. That shouldn't count though, as that was a defensive move in response to Creative suing Apple first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

what goes around, comes around.
Apple sues everyone for patents, now they are getting it back... Good!
post #10 of 33
It's really very simple. All laws pertaining to business were created by lawyers to allow other lawyers to make money. It has nothing to do with justice, fairness, or anything else. It's just about lawyers making money.
post #11 of 33
These sleezebags smell 30 billion in cash. See the slimeballs come out of the woodwork more often.
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Really. Name a few of these Apple patent suits. Remember, you said everybody so it should be easy for you to give a few examples. I personally can't think of one recent patent suit unless you count Apple counter suing Creative a few years ago. That shouldn't count though, as that was a defensive move in response to Creative suing Apple first.

Mr. Italiankid is one of those wretched souls who spends his time on an Apple discussion board endlessly belittling Apple and its users.

Why anyone would feel compelled to do this I cannot say, but the type seems truly pathological and more than a little pathetic.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

Here we go with the endless 'patents are broken' comments etc etc...

While complaining about it is generally unproductive, but the same is true about complaining about the complaining. As it is, most discussion on most forums is unproductive, that's part of the game.

Quote:
- the complaint from Accolade Systems maintains that Aptina Imaging and Micron are violating a patent for detecting a camera's sensor intensity saturation by producing three CMOS image sensors.

That's confusing at best. It really looks like rubbish to me. Some of those phrases are supposed to mean something, but that sentence, as written, doesn't appear to mean anything in this context. Apple is supposed to be contributing to the violation of patents because they are using someone else's chip, supposedly knowing that those chips violate the patent in question?
post #14 of 33
In a just system Apple should have the right to counter sue all the bringers of these suits for harrassment.

It seems like a never ending saga over every function of everything Apple and other manufacturers make and do.

For God's sake I hope we never invent time travel, everything from fire to the wheel will have patents on them!
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post #15 of 33
Oh I certainly agree patents are broken, it's just these threads do end up being somewhat predictable. That said, I guess complaining is the only way anything is going to change.

Well, that or a revolution or something...
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

In a just system Apple should have the right to counter sue all the bringers of these suits for harrassment.

It seems like a never ending saga over every function of everything Apple and other manufacturers make and do.

For God's sake I hope we never invent time travel, everything from fire to the wheel will have patents on them!

When you are a successful company, less successful companies want your cash. Simple as that. Eric Schmidt says Google gets sued every day - I imagine it's the same for Apple.
post #17 of 33
Aren't we infringing some patent by posting on this forum...?

I suggest that we all stop posting right now, just in case some lawyer is reading and launches an action suit against us... ;-)
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

what goes around, comes around.
Apple sues everyone for patents, now they are getting it back... Good!

Truly meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

They're after money, not a change to Apple's product. The iPhone will continue forward as the revolutionary product it is, no harm done.
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Wait.. Those guys patented a webpage layout?!! My understanding is that iTunes is a program similar to a browser (actually it is Safari with integrated media player in a way) designed to access specific website (Apple iTunes content). How do you patent a page layout? or worst how do you patent a file download?!!! LOOOOOL

Actually, Apple has always been ready to point out that iTunes does NOT make use of WebKit for its rendering of the iTunes Store content.
post #20 of 33
AI should at least post links to the patents concerned so that we can see what the patents actually claim, and when they were filed etc
post #21 of 33
Or

- I sued Apple and won
- I sued Apple and lost
- I sued Apple just 'cuz

- I'm suing Apple because
- I'm suing Apple because I need the money
- I'm suing Apple because I found a sleeze bag lawyer
- I'm suing Apple because they are doing it better then me
- I'm suing Apple because damn it, they have way to much money!
- I'm suing Apple because if I don't, somebody else will

Skip
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tawilson View Post

Actually, Apple has always been ready to point out that iTunes does NOT make use of WebKit for its rendering of the iTunes Store content.

It appears to be WebObjects on the server side and Java within iTunes on the client side.
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post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Really. Name a few of these Apple patent suits. Remember, you said everybody so it should be easy for you to give a few examples. I personally can't think of one recent patent suit unless you count Apple counter suing Creative a few years ago. That shouldn't count though, as that was a defensive move in response to Creative suing Apple first.

italiankid is probably thinking of Cook saying they will vigorously defend their patents - and how the media assumed this might mean a suit in the direction of Palm.

As it hasn't happened yet, just another example of someone who only knows half the story.
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

It's really very simple. All laws pertaining to business were created by lawyers to allow other lawyers to make money. It has nothing to do with justice, fairness, or anything else. It's just about lawyers making money.

I couldn't agree more. Who are the guaranteed winners in any lawsuit? The lawyers of both parties. I once heard that there are more lawyers in Michigan alone than in all of Japan. They all want to make money. There you have it, no surprise.
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tawilson View Post

Actually, Apple has always been ready to point out that iTunes does NOT make use of WebKit for its rendering of the iTunes Store content.

Does a browser need to use WebKit to be a browser? I remember when Apple released Safari for Windows it was said that Safari was already on Windows before in iTunes.
post #26 of 33
The more I see these laughable lawsuits - I start to think that lawsuits are the next huge debacle begging for a collapse after the sub-prime mortgage and financial market debacles are resolved. It really is pitiful how everybody and anybody is allowed to raise such weak lawsuits with such regularity. And even worse - make money off of it. And worse than that, the regularity and money involved seems to be expanding the market for these kinds of IP lawsuits.

How do you sue someone for infringing on a method of distributing content that is so obvious and ubiquitous. This company's patent diagram looks roughly like almost every website in the world - practically every interface in the Web-based world uses some configuration of columns, rows, tabs and buttons to manage assets, hierarchy and database input/output.
This has gotten so ridiculous!
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Does a browser need to use WebKit to be a browser? I remember when Apple released Safari for Windows it was said that Safari was already on Windows before in iTunes.

There are several rendering engines available, but for each engine, there may be about four somewhat commonly used browsers.
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Really. Name a few of these Apple patent suits. Remember, you said everybody so it should be easy for you to give a few examples. I personally can't think of one recent patent suit unless you count Apple counter suing Creative a few years ago. That shouldn't count though, as that was a defensive move in response to Creative suing Apple first.

As was noted below, Apple has threatened anyone and everyone who attempts to make use of multi-touch or gestures on mobile phones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Mr. Italiankid is one of those wretched souls who spends his time on an Apple discussion board endlessly belittling Apple and its users.

Why anyone would feel compelled to do this I cannot say, but the type seems truly pathological and more than a little pathetic.

I guess you just ad-hom people everywhere you post. You should stop projecting onto others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post

italiankid is probably thinking of Cook saying they will vigorously defend their patents - and how the media assumed this might mean a suit in the direction of Palm.

As it hasn't happened yet, just another example of someone who only knows half the story.

What else is there to know. Apple claims it invented the gesture of moving your fingers apart to make something bigger and squeezing them together to make it smaller and has declared that they will protect them. You reap what you sow. Apple patented how we all use spatial reasoning. It is like them patenting a part of all our brains and declaring other devices should work contrary to that.

All of it needs to stop.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I stay to stay out of those comments. I agree that they are, but I have no ideas on how to correct it... and I don't think anyone else on these boards do either.

Given the filings that are accepted, a pragmatic approach maybe that the patent should stop scrutinizing all filings and just be a registrar for anything anyone wants to file. The patent office could make a lot if fees, reduce staff with no one needed to do research and would not in anyway be a validation of the claim for court purposes. That would be for the courts. Also law suits would need to be filed in Federal court before a panel of knowledgeable patent judges (outside of East Texas) that can review both sides of a dispute before a patent is validated. Let the first appeal go to a federal jury if requested.
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post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

I guess you just ad-hom people everywhere you post. You should stop projecting onto others.

What's the matter, Nick, now that you've single handedly killed an entire forum by filling it with your shit, you're forced to come looking for a fight?

Go back to your cave.
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post #31 of 33
Thanks for explaining why Apple should be able to own a patent for "I squish your head, I squish it" aka inventing pinching.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #32 of 33
Well, maybe things will change....

http://www.reuters.com/article/marke...43504920090325
(from Fudzilla)

I'm not sure what reforms are being proposed
- anyone know?

And where is Apple?

\
post #33 of 33
Hehehehe...

I don't know what to make of this:-

Is this the same Affinity Labs?

http://www.affinitylabs.com/

Affinity Labs builds online communities to improve the lives, careers and education of our members. Affinity Labs is based in San Francisco, CA and is led by an accomplished management team. In January 2008, Affinity Labs was acquired by Monster Worldwide.

Our Sites:
AdminSecret for Administrative Assistants
AllHealthcare for Healthcare Workers
ArtBistro for Artists
FireLink for Fire Fighters
GovCentral for Government Workers
HRGuru for HR Professionals
InsideTech for Technology Professionals \tNursingLink for Nurses
PoliceLink for Police
SalesHQ for Sales
TheApple for Teachers <------- THIS ONE HERE!
TestQ for Quizzes
WomenCo for Professional Women
ChefsBlade for Culinary Professionals

The link for teachers ends up here:-

http://www.theapple.com/

Probably irrelevant, but interesting nonetheless.

Maybe Apple improves their lives too much!

hmmm...

I suppose they have to get a return on their investment somehow:-

http://venturebeat.com/2008/01/04/ju...-labs-for-61m/

This is the same company, right?

I was having a look at their patent it seems to cover specifically listening to music via a wifi stream which is buffered on a cellphone's memory, songs can be organized and then STREAMED to the device for listening to in a car.

They have also covered interrupting the STREAM to take a call and buffering to resume once the call has ended.

I guess if you listen to radio streams this patent would cover it but I don't know of any where you can arrange your own playlist.

Otherwise the patent seems too broad and obvious.

I think they would have a better case against Nokia with it's "Comes with Music" service.
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