Patent suit targets Apple, Microsoft over data encryption

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Both Apple and its rival Microsoft have been hit with a new lawsuit accusing them and others of violating patents related to digital file encryption and security.



The complaint was filed this week by Tallgrass Prairie Management in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, where lawsuits are frequently filed in hopes of a favorable outcome for the plaintiff. In addition to Apple and Microsoft, the suit targets WinMagic and CheckPoint Software Technologies.



The four defendants are accused of violating three patents related to secure data encryption, allowing users to ensure that others cannot access sensitive files. The patents in the suit are all named "Method for Preventing Inadvertent Betrayal by a Trustee of Escrowed Digital Secrets." They are:

U.S. Patent No. 5,436,972, first filed in 1993

U.S. Patent No. 6,141,423, filed in 1995

U.S. Patent No. 6,216,229, filed in 2000

Apple is accused of selling "software that includes digital data structures for storing identifying information and encrypted digital secrets." The complaint asserts that Apple's software violates Tallgrass Prairie Management's patents by allowing "trustees to access the encrypted digital secrets upon verification of the identifying information."







The plaintiff has asked the court to grant permanent injunctions against the defendants, preventing them from selling what Tallgrass Prairie believes are infringing products. The company also hopes to receive damages from those it is suing via a jury trial.



Tallgrass Prairie Management is represented by attorney William E. Davis III of The Davis Firm based out of Longview, Texas.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    I guess the recent patent reform takes a long time to take effect, or it doesn't do enough against trolls.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Apple's KeyChain uses Full Elliptical Encryption developed back at NeXT and Reid University from the late 1980s and has been developed to the present with the same distinguished professor along the way.



    DES/AES, etc., are all Open Standards.



    This will be DOA.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,139member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by marokero View Post


    I guess the recent patent reform takes a long time to take effect, or it doesn't do enough against trolls.



    I don't really understand all the details about the new bill but part of me hopes it puts U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas out of business! Or at least sends them back to fighting for the flat earthers, creationists and rights of ET's UFO landing rights.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,139member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Apple's KeyChain uses Full Elliptical Encryption developed back at NeXT and Reid University from the late 1980s and has been developed to the present with the same distinguished professor along the way.



    DES/AES, etc., are all Open Standards.



    This will be DOA.



    Good to hear. Out of curiosity how come these folks don't know this? Or do they and they hope the judge doesn't? Or is this lawyers scamming clients?
  • Reply 5 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Good to hear. Out of curiosity how come these folks don't know this? Or do they and they hope the judge doesn't? Or is this lawyers scamming clients?



    Because it typically costs millions to scan the patent database with patent lawyers to cross reference every single possible related patent.



    There are tens of thousands of patents on digital encryption.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Sounds like a patent for scrambling letters in a document, and using a password to unscramble them. How clever!
  • Reply 7 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I don't really understand all the details about the new bill but part of me hopes it puts U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas out of business!



    But it's the last place for scoundrels and outlaws to seek justice.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    Did you ever notice that alot of these companies are in the middle of nowhere if you look on google earth? or don't even seem to have a website!
  • Reply 9 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kyle172 View Post


    Did you ever notice that alot of these companies are in the middle of nowhere if you look on google earth? or don't even seem to have a website!



    The NPR programme "This American Life" had a recent episode about the patent wars, and they walked through a building in an east Texas town where several of the plaintiffs in patent laws had 'offices'. Names on the doors, but no one answered the knocks, and no lights on inside. Just an empty building.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Apple's KeyChain uses Full Elliptical Encryption developed back at NeXT and Reid University from the late 1980s and has been developed to the present with the same distinguished professor along the way.



    DES/AES, etc., are all Open Standards.



    This will be DOA.



    ^This
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