Apple iPhone targeted in patent lawsuit over sync, Bluetooth

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple -- along with AT&T, Research in Motion and a number of other mobile companies -- is the defendant in a new patent suit that covers a broad range of smartphone related technologies, including e-mail syncing and Bluetooth connectivity.



The suit, filed earlier this month in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, is on behalf of a company called SmartPhone Technologies LLC, based in Frisco, Texas. It accuses Apple of violating six patents owned by the company covering a range of topics, including Bluetooth connectivity, e-mail syncing, bandwidth conservation and general smartphone functionality.



The suit alleges that Apple and its iPhone are liable for infringement of the patents and have caused damage to SmartPhone Technologies. In addition to Apple, a number of prominent smartphone companies and mobile operators are named as defendants, including RIM, AT&T, Samsung, Sanyo, LG, and Motorola.



The suit asks the court to find all of the named parties in violation of their respective patents, and seeks damages, costs and expenses from all of them. SmartPhone did not specify damages, but requested a jury trial in the Eastern District of Texas, where patent lawsuits are often filed in hopes of a favorable outcome.



The six patents specifically aimed at Apple are:



Patent No. 6,950,645: "Power Conserving Intuitive Device Discovery Technique in a Bluetooth Environment."



Patent No. 7,076,275: "Method and System for Single-Step Enablement of Telephony Functionality for a Portable Computer System."



Patent No. 7,506,064: "Handheld Computer System that Attempts to Establish an Alternative Network Link Upon Failing to Establish a Requested Network Link."



Patent No. 7,533,342: "System and Method of a Personal Computer Device Providing Telephone Capability."



Patent No. 6,711,609: "Method and Apparatus for Synchronizing an Email Client on a Portable Computer System with an Email Client on a Desktop Computer."



Patent No. RE40,459: "Method and Apparatus for Communicating Information Over Low Bandwidth Communications Networks."



The suit also includes a seventh patent of which Apple is not accused of violating. However, Motorola, Samsung and RIM are accused over U.S. Patent No. 5,742,095, entitled "Personal Communications Internetworking."



Apple and its iPhone are the frequent targets of patent-related lawsuits. Some of the most recent and prominent cases involve a lawsuit from Finnish phone maker Nokia and camera maker Kodak.



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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    One day I'd like to see a list of all the lawsuits that Apple has pending and how many they have against other companies.
  • Reply 2 of 47
    Litigation business is doing well. It is even better in worse economy. That's the US Patent value.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Lawyers rejoice!
  • Reply 4 of 47
    asianbobasianbob Posts: 797member
    Another day, another round of patent lawsuits... It would be interesting to see how much money Apple spends on lawsuits.
  • Reply 5 of 47
    h.ravh.rav Posts: 11member
    What' wrong with all those eastern Texas companies, suing companies every other week.
  • Reply 6 of 47
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    What goes around comes around, I guess.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    Blah blah blah blah blah. I wants free monies.. blah blah blah...
  • Reply 8 of 47
    bawbaw Posts: 12member
    The most hilarious thing about these lawsuits is always the phrase "Eastern District of Texas." Gee, I thought the legal system was supposed to be impartial and all, but obviously companies know where to file their lawsuits to get a favorable result. Frontier justice, where no doubt wheels are being greased behind the scenes for just the right outcome. Since this is a U.S. District Court, why is there not an ongoing federal investigation into their reputation for favoring certain companies even before evidence is heard? A court should not have a reputation for favoring one side or the other. I know, I know, incredible naivete on my part! :-)
  • Reply 9 of 47
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BAW View Post


    The most hilarious thing about these lawsuits is always the phrase "Eastern District of Texas." Gee, I thought the legal system was supposed to be impartial and all, but obviously companies know where to file their lawsuits to get a favorable result. Frontier justice, where no doubt wheels are being greased behind the scenes for just the right outcome. Since this is a U.S. District Court, why is there not an ongoing federal investigation into their reputation for favoring certain companies even before evidence is heard? A court should not have a reputation for favoring one side or the other. I know, I know, incredible naivete on my part! :-)



    Didn't I read they are toying with the idea in that state that Texas should secede? How about the other 49 states helping it
  • Reply 10 of 47
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    "Your honour, the Apple hearing is at 2. Did you want me to order you lunch in the meantime?"



    "Sure thing sugarplum. Why dontcha rustle me up some fried chicken and some of them strawberry pies ah love so much. And hold all my calls. I gotta shine up my gun cuz I'll be usin' it as my gavel. Butt-end of course, he-he, and speakin of butt, once yer done with all the filin', why dontcha strut yer purty ass up here so ah can take a look atcha."





  • Reply 11 of 47
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    It accuses Apple of violating six patents owned by the company covering a range of topics, including Bluetooth connectivity, e-mail syncing, bandwidth conversation and general smartphone functionality.



    bandwidth conversation? Conservation, maybe?
  • Reply 12 of 47
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    bandwidth conversation? Conservation, maybe?



    The "general smartphone functionality" part is most impressive.



    "Hey, Bob"

    "Yeah, Phil?"

    "Dude, like, what do we put for our big patents?"

    "Dude, put whatever, man. I'm busy. This joint aint gonna roll itself."

    "Cool, man."



    I can't wait for this to pan out.
  • Reply 13 of 47
    bawbaw Posts: 12member
    You made my day with this post!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    "Your honour, the Apple hearing is at 2. Did you want me to order you lunch in the meantime?"



    "Sure thing sugarplum. Why dontcha rustle me up some fried chicken and some of them strawberry pies ah love so much. And hold all my calls. I gotta shine up my gun cuz I'll be usin' it as my gavel. Butt-end of course, he-he, and speakin of butt, once yer done with all the filin', why dontcha strut yer purty ass up here so ah can take a look atcha."









  • Reply 14 of 47
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BAW View Post


    You made my day with this post!



    Much obliged, B-A-dubya, much obliged."
  • Reply 15 of 47
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    At least the company is located in Texas for once.
  • Reply 16 of 47
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    What goes around comes around, I guess.



    You trolls are amazing animals, you know that. Apple sues somebody and the outrage, the accusations of stifling innovation, the "monopoly" trump card, the "evil" trump card, all surface immediately. BUT Apple gets sued, and suddenly this is poetic justice, this is the right thing to do, take 'em down, patents are good.



    I wonder how many law suits Microsoft itself against defending these days, or Dell, or HP, or Google, or Toyota. Only Apple is getting its comeuppance, eh. Like I said, you trolls sure do have an amazingly myopic vision of the world. And you rail against "fanboys"? What a laugh.
  • Reply 17 of 47
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    You trolls are amazing animals, you know that. Apple sues somebody and the outrage, the accusations of stifling innovation, the "monopoly" trump card, the "evil" trump card, all surface immediately. BUT Apple gets sued, and suddenly this is poetic justice, this is the right thing to do, take 'em down, patents are good.



    I wonder how many law suits Microsoft itself against defending these days, or Dell, or HP, or Google, or Toyota. Only Apple is getting its comeuppance, eh. Like I said, you trolls sure do have an amazingly myopic vision of the world. And you rail against "fanboys"? What a laugh.



    There is an amazing lack of consistency on BOTH sides. It was not too long ago that Kodak, a company that is nearly 125 years old, that supposedly tried to negotiate with Apple, was called a patent troll for trying to enforce its IP.



    If both sides would simply be honest, then these posts would go down. Apple has every right to defend its IP, and not every company that sues Apple is a priori a patent troll simply because they sue Apple.



    See, that was simple.
  • Reply 18 of 47
    bawbaw Posts: 12member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    You trolls are amazing animals, you know that. Apple sues somebody and the outrage, the accusations of stifling innovation, the "monopoly" trump card, the "evil" trump card, all surface immediately. BUT Apple gets sued, and suddenly this is poetic justice, this is the right thing to do, take 'em down, patents are good.



    I wonder how many law suits Microsoft itself against defending these days, or Dell, or HP, or Google, or Toyota. Only Apple is getting its comeuppance, eh. Like I said, you trolls sure do have an amazingly myopic vision of the world. And you rail against "fanboys"? What a laugh.



    Although I am a satisfied Apple customer, I really couldn't care less whether it's Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any other tech company being sued in U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Texas. My point is that no court district should have that kind of reputation, and if they do, should be investigated. Argue the merits of whatever patent case you bring on exactly that, not on whose palms you've greased or where you know you can go for an almost always favorable ruling. Otherwise, why even bother to pretend that "justice" is being served?
  • Reply 19 of 47
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,246member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cubert View Post


    At least the company is located in Texas for once.



    I had the same thought. But they don't even seem to have a website. How much do you want to bet that this "company" exists only on paper, and is nothing more than a repository of patents purchased from others. (Probably bought for fire sale prices from companies that went out of business) They make nothing, and do nothing but sue to protect the patents they own.



    I wish the Justice Department would investigate these courts in East Texas. They seem to be bordering on being a criminal enterprise.
  • Reply 20 of 47
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    What, like non-fanboys who continuously whine about stuff like an iPhone not being able to sync stuff via Bluetooth?



    Why are they going after the licensees of Bluetooth and not the licensors?



    Or how in order to sync with your "desktop" email software you have to go through third parties via "the cloud" e.g. MobileMe, GMail your ISP's mail server etc.



    Innocent until proven guilty and all that stuff.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    You trolls are amazing animals, you know that. Apple sues somebody and the outrage, the accusations of stifling innovation, the "monopoly" trump card, the "evil" trump card, all surface immediately. BUT Apple gets sued, and suddenly this is poetic justice, this is the right thing to do, take 'em down, patents are good.



    I wonder how many law suits Microsoft itself against defending these days, or Dell, or HP, or Google, or Toyota. Only Apple is getting its comeuppance, eh. Like I said, you trolls sure do have an amazingly myopic vision of the world. And you rail against "fanboys"? What a laugh.



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