Mobile processor patent suit accuses Apple of 14 violations

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple and a number of other major mobile device makers and service providers are the targets of a massive lawsuit over mobile processors from a company that has alleged the infringement of 14 separate patents.



Apple is one of a number of companies -- 22, to be exact -- that are named as defendants in the suit filed by California-based MicroUnity Systems Engineering. Apple's exclusive mobile provider in the U.S., AT&T, is also targeted because it sells the iPhone 3GS and "services utilizing and software utilized by such products."



Other companies named include Acer, Google, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Qualcomm, Samsung, Spring and Texas Instruments. The suit was filed last week in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, where patent complaints are commonly filed in hopes of a favorable outcome.



Specifically named in the suit are the iPhone 3GS and 32GB and 64GB capacities of the iPod touch. Other devices named include the Motorola Droid, Palm Pre, Google Nexus One, and Nokia N900.



According to the company's Web site, MicroUnity was founded in 1988 when it "aimed to extend microprocessors beyond their historical role as calculating and control devices, to make them the primary media-processing engines of televisions, set-top boxes, mobile computers, cellphones, and other digital communications devices."



MicroUnity Systems Engineering has previously filed suits against Intel, Dell, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and Advanced Micro Devices. The company's Web site states those suits were settled years ago.



The 14 patents named in the suit are:



U.S. Patent No. 5,737,547, "System for Placing Entries of an Outstanding Processor Request into a Free Pool After the Request Is Accepted by a Corresponding Peripheral Device."

U.S. Patent No. 5,742,840, "General Purpose, Multiple Precision Parallel Operation, Programmable Media Processor."

U.S. Patent No. 5,794,061, "General Purpose, Multiple Precision Parallel Operation, Programmable Media Processor."

U.S. Patent No. 6,006,318 C1, "General Purpose, Dynamic Partitioning, Programmable Media Processor."

U.S. Patent No. 6,427,190, "Configurable Cache Allowing Cache-Type and Buffer-Type Access."

U.S. Patent No. 6,725,356 C1, "System with Wide Operand Architecture, and Method."

U.S. Patent No. 7,213,131, "Programmable Processor and Method for Partitioned Group Element Selection Operation."

U.S. Patent No. 7,216,217 B2, "Programmable Processor with Group Floating-Point Operations."

U.S. Patent No. 7,260,708 B2, "Programmable Processor and Method for Partitioned Group Shift."

U.S. Patent No. 7,353,367 B2, "System and Software for Catenated Group Shift Instruction."

U.S. Patent No. 7,509,366 B2, "Multiplier Array Processing System with Enhanced Utilization at Lower Precision."

U.S. Patent No. 7,653,806 B2, "Method and Apparatus for Performing Improved Group Floating-Point Operations."

U.S. Patent No. 7,660,972 B2, "Method and Software for Partitioned Floating-Point Multiply-Add Operation."

U.S. Patent No. 7,660,973 B2, "System and Apparatus for Group Data Operations."



Earlier this month, a separate lawsuit targeted many of the same companies over a broad range of smartphone related patents. Apple's iPhone was specifically included in the suit, which alleged infringement of patents related to e-mail syncing and Bluetooth connectivity.



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 48
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,094member
    Interesting to know, but I'll let the courts sort this one out.
  • Reply 2 of 48
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Apple is one of a number of companies -- 22, to be exact



    How about making that clear in the title?



    "Mobile processor patent suit accuses Apple and others of 14 violations"
  • Reply 3 of 48
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,259member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Apple is one of a number of companies -- 22, to be exact



    How about making that clear in the title?



    "Mobile processor patent suit accuses Apple and others of 14 violations"



    I find it interesting that Intel and AMD are listed as settling years back, but no mention of ARM.
  • Reply 4 of 48
    bbhbbh Posts: 70member
    Apple should buy these guys then go after the rest of the sob/s
  • Reply 5 of 48
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,185member
    Sounds like a "drift net" suit to me.
  • Reply 6 of 48
    God, not another fishing expo
  • Reply 7 of 48
    eauviveeauvive Posts: 237member
    Incredible. We say over here that Americans lose their time in courts, but it's a clear understatement. This stupid case demonstrates that the whole patent system is becoming inefficient, as it allows morons to hamper overall innovation. Bummer.
  • Reply 8 of 48
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,094member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGod 2.0 View Post


    God, not another fishing expo



    Hey, who doesn't like fish?
  • Reply 9 of 48
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,221member
    "The suit was filed last week in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas"



    Say no more ...
  • Reply 10 of 48
    zoggzogg Posts: 10member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EauVive View Post


    Incredible. We say over here that Americans lose their time in courts, but it's a clear understatement. This stupid case demonstrates that the whole patent system is becoming inefficient, as it allows morons to hamper overall innovation. Bummer.



    I agree. I'm thnking the solution is for patents to run out after so many years like they do for the drug companies. That way it will keep innovation moving along and companies can have their marketing edge for X number of years, but then these technologies can become part of the industrial landscape, and no one would own them after that point.
  • Reply 11 of 48
    wow!! keep firing em patent violation lawsuits...
  • Reply 12 of 48
    Unless you Americans can sort out this growing IP patent mess, you will see innovation follow manufacturing ... off shore.
  • Reply 13 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by audioguy View Post


    Unless you Americans can sort out this growing IP patent mess, you will see innovation follow manufacturing ... off shore.



    At least we're not French.
  • Reply 14 of 48
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,064member
    Is this even news anymore?



    Instead of the "Apple tax" maybe we should be talking about the "patent lawsuit tax" we all pay for our goods and services. It's sort of like when we found out that 50% of the cost of a ladder is to cover personal injury lawsuits.
  • Reply 15 of 48
    davidtdavidt Posts: 112member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OnePotato View Post


    At least we're not French.



    At least we're not Danish, Colombian or Uzbek.
  • Reply 16 of 48
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OnePotato View Post


    At least we're not French.



    Bigot much?
  • Reply 17 of 48
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    "The suit was filed last week in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas"



    Say no more ...



    No doubt! Apple should buy the county. I'm sure it would be cheaper.
  • Reply 18 of 48
    artseartse Posts: 27member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    "The suit was filed last week in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas"



    Say no more ...



    Amen...
  • Reply 19 of 48
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,578member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    I find it interesting that Intel and AMD are listed as settling years back, but no mention of ARM.



    ARM doesn't manufacture anything, just license out their designs.
  • Reply 20 of 48
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,259member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OnePotato View Post


    At least we're not French.



    You retort with the virility of an impotent man.
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