Trio of patent suits target Apple over caller ID, Web apps, USB

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple was hit with three different patent infringement lawsuits in the U.S. this week, accusing the company of violating inventions related to caller ID, browser-based Web applications, and for building "USB products."



ClassCo v. Apple



New Hampshire-based ClassCo, makers of the "VoiceAnnounce Caller ID" products, filed suit this week against Apple, alleging patent infringement over caller identification patents owned by the company. Also named as defendants are HTC, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, LG, Research in Motion, Huawei, and ZTE.



Filed in U.S. District Court for the Norther District of Illinois, the complaint accuses Apple and the others of violating two patents related to "announcement" of a calling party. The company has previously sued Motorola and Kyocera International.



The two patents owned by ClassCo and included in the suit are both titled "Calling Party Announcement Apparatus." Both were granted to inventor David J. Luneau. They are:

U.S. Patent No. 6,970,695, awarded in 2005

U.S. Patent No. 7,206,572, awarded in 2007

ClassCo seeks compensatory damages for what it believes are past infringements by the defendants. It has also asked the court to file an injunction preventing products like the iPhone from continuing their alleged infringement.







Negotiated Data v. Apple



Apple again finds itself among a long list of defendants in a complaint from Negotiated Data Solutions Inc., filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, where lawsuits are frequently filed in hopes of a favorable outcome. Other defendants in the case include Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Nokia and RIM.



The suit cites "cellular telephones, tablet computers and other electronic devices with USB functionality" being sold by Apple as being in violation of a handful of patents owned by Negotiated Data. Specifically named are the iPhone 4 and iPad.



The full list of patents named in the complaint, all of which were granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the 1990s, are:

U.S. Patent No. 5,361,261: "Frame-Based Transmission of Data"

U.S. Patent No. 5,533,018: "Multi-Protocol Packet Framing Over an Isochronous Network"

U.S. Patent No. 5,566,169: "Data Communication Network with Transfer Port, Cascade Port and/or Frame Synchronizing Signal"

U.S. Patent No. 5,594,734: "Asynchronous Processor Access to a Switch Table in a Network with Isochronous Capability"

The official website for Negotiated Data, or "N-Data," states that the company was set up in 2003 to recoup value for shareholders of Vertical Networks, which sold a line of telephony systems known as the "Instant Office" in the mid-1990s.



"N-Data is not a typical patent licensing company in several important respects," the site reads. "In addition to offering reasonable licenses to recoup investment, a large part of N-Data's mission is to further socially and environmentally responsible practices in both the developed and developing worlds. This is why N-Data is a member of the RIPL Group."



The company claims it puts a "substantial portion of its revenue" into nonprofit organizations that have "goals in common" with the company.







Droplets v. Apple



The lawsuit filed this week by Droplets Inc. against Apple also includes Amazon, Google, Facebook, Yahoo and YouTube as defendants. Like the Negotiated Data suit, it was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.



Apple and the others are accused of violating two patents related to Web applications hosted on servers and accessed through a Web browser. Cited in the complaint are the websites apple.com, trailers.apple.com, as well as iTunes and "other web applications and software."



The suit describes Droplets as "an innovative software development corporation focused on technology for developing and delivering highly functional and scalable applications over the Internet. As a result of this leading-edge development, Droplets has received patents on its platform, which includes deployment of rich internet applications and related technology."



Droplets claims that it has sold products based on its technology to "Global 1000 enterprises, U.S. armed services, independent software vendors, and application service providers." The two complaints named in the suit are:

U.S. Patent No. 6,687,745: "System and Method for Delivering a Graphical User Interface of Remote Applications Over a Thin Bandwidth Connection," awarded in 2004

U.S. Patent No. 7,502,838: "System and Method for Delivering Remotely Stored Applications and Information," granted in 2009





As with the other aforementioned lawsuits, Droplets has asked the court to find the defendants infringed on its patents, and seeks damages for those alleged violations. The firm McKool Smith is representing both Droplets and Negotiated Data in their complaints, while ClassCo has hired Dykema Gossett.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    ClassCo, Negotiated Data, Droplets, HTC, WiLAN, Openwave, Samsung and Paul Allen have every right to protect their intellectual property and anybody suggesting that they shouldn't be suing Apple or that they should just let things slide has got to be totally brain damaged and they should wake up and smell the coffee, because they are thinking and acting like a clueless fool.



    I don't have anything in particular against Apple, but blatant infringements of patents is blatant infringement and anybody who engages in such pathetic and cowardly actions deserves to get smacked down.



    Or something like that.
  • Reply 2 of 30
    blatant infringements? pretty broad statement from somebody who's credentials are suspect to start with.



    otherwise, why a texas 'outlaw court'? afraid to take a real shot with a real court.



    i don't like rick perry, but if he was elected president, i would be rather certain that these innocuous forays will hit a brick wall.
  • Reply 3 of 30
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    These patents never should've been awarded to begin with.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    jetzjetz Posts: 1,293member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post


    These patents never should've been awarded to begin with.



    And what's your thoughts on patenting a rectangle for a computer device?
  • Reply 5 of 30
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jetz View Post


    And what's your thoughts on patenting a rectangle for a computer device?



    Hit me up when someone patents a rectangle for a computer device.
  • Reply 6 of 30
    panupanu Posts: 135member
    "Trio of patent suits"? I have a quintet of objections to that, but I'll limit myself to this solo: Unless by that you mean three patent lawyers wearing suits and singing in harmony, it's wrong. The cardinal numbers in English are one, two, three, four, five, six. Solo, duet, trio, quartet, quintet, or sextet refer primarily to musicians. Even then those aren't really quantities, because a trio and a duet don't make a quintet.



    I've been to 17 funerals in the last 12 years, and now another one. For the English language this time.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    jetzjetz Posts: 1,293member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post


    Hit me up when someone patents a rectangle for a computer device.



    Didn't catch the news on the Samsung injunction?
  • Reply 8 of 30
    Might be biased, but the NData ones are likely to be an issue. I knew some people from Vertical in the mid-late 1990’s, and for the time they had some truly innovative ideas.



    ClassCo and Droplets seem less innovative for the year of patent issue.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    It used to annoy me whenever someone sued Apple over a patent. However, following the way in which Apple has aggressively gone after Samsung in the name of protecting their intellectual property, I no longer have any sympathy whatsoever when they are sued for infringing the intellectual property of others.



    Sorry, Apple, but you can't have it both ways.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,990member
    Hey, how do I make my iPhone 4 announce the callers name?



    As far as I know, it doesn't, my Bluetooth car kit on the other hand...
  • Reply 11 of 30
    Too busy to actually read any of these patents, but Droplets should drop its case right now because Hotmail (a web application) launched in 1996 and the patent wasn't even awarded to Droplet until 2004. Heck, iTunes music store (another web app) was introduced in 2003.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    [QUOTE=AppleInsider;1938964]Apple was hit with three different patent infringement lawsuits in the U.S. this week, accusing the company of violating inventions related to caller ID, browser-based Web applications, and for building "USB products."









    patents on its platform, which includes deployment of rich internet applications and related technology."



    They mean Ole and D`ole for sure

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odqojmB6C_Y
  • Reply 13 of 30
    Droplets is making me laugh my ass off.



    Apple has Web App hosting patents up the wazzu from the days of NeXT and even early Apple.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post


    Hit me up when someone patents a rectangle for a computer device.



    Exactly.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post


    Too busy to actually read any of these patents, but Droplets should drop its case right now because Hotmail (a web application) launched in 1996 and the patent wasn't even awarded to Droplet until 2004. Heck, iTunes music store (another web app) was introduced in 2003.



    And, then there are AOL, COMPUSERVE, and other early Internet vendors that provided services on the web through their very specific interfaces. Yeah, Droplets may have a difficult road ahead.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    They are defending their intellectual property...blah blah blah...shouldn't have been stealing, Apple are thieves blah blah...etc.





    Anyone against this but for, say, Apple's patents against HTC (The 2 that held up) should STFU.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    From these 3 new suits the last 2 make sense. But caller ID is turned on and off by the Provider at the user request.. (tmo, at&t, verizon, etc)

    That being said the iPhones are not an apparatus or devices that circumvent or get that information by its own. You have the choice to turn it on or off calling customer support of your provider.



    For been a company that sells products related to the telephone business is kind of naive.. lol
  • Reply 18 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jetz View Post


    Didn't catch the news on the Samsung injunction?



    That's a design patent. And it's perfectly valid, considering in other industries that design is the only thing differentiating a Louis Vuitton handbag from the cheap knock-offs. Also, Samsung didn't just do it in the shape of a rectangle, it also copied how Apple's tablets looks from the side, from the back, etc. Pretty much everything except the logo. Oh and the software was Android, but it was designed to look as iPad-like as possible. Sounds like riding the coattails to me.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 20 of 30
    mennomenno Posts: 854member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bartfat View Post


    That's a design patent. And it's perfectly valid, considering in other industries that design is the only thing differentiating a Louis Vuitton handbag from the cheap knock-offs. Also, Samsung didn't just do it in the shape of a rectangle, it also copied how Apple's tablets looks from the side, from the back, etc. Pretty much everything except the logo. Oh and the software was Android, but it was designed to look as iPad-like as possible. Sounds like riding the coattails to me.



    Actually, it's the trademark of the Logo that protects the bag. The design of the bag itself isn't protected.



    If apple and samsung were clothing companies, this wouldn't even make it to court (even if the copying item for item but the logo
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