Apple, Samsung & Sony sued over graphics processing patent

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014


A patent holder has taken aim at Apple — along with Samsung, Sony and others — for allegedly infringing upon inventions related to graphics processing.



Graphics Property Holdings Inc., formerly known as Silicon Graphics Inc., has sued a total of six companies in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del., according to Reuters. Other companies targeted in the suit were Research in Motion, LG and HTC.



Specifically accused of infringement in the complaints are Apple's iPhone Samsung's Galaxy S and Galaxy S II smartphones, RIM's BlackBerry Torch and more. As is the norm for such complaints, Graphics Properties seeks to halt the sales of devices, including the iPhone, with a court injunction.



The six companies were each targeted with six individual lawsuits against each smartphone maker. All six complaints were filed in the District of Delaware.



Other devices targeted in the complaints are the HTC EVO 4G, the LG Thrill, and Sony's Xperia Play line of smartphones. The devices have been targeted over a patent related to turning text and images into pixels on a mobile display.



Graphics Properties Holdings has an established history of pursuing Apple and others with patent infringement suits. The two companies traded filings last November, which each accusing the other of patent infringement.



Apple was first sued by Silicon Graphics in November of 2010. The original company filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and sold much of its operations to Rackable Systems Inc., while its remaining business is run by investors out of New Rochelle, New York.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    sandorsandor Posts: 507member
    huh.



    i remember when the labs filled with SGI Indigo 2's were the cream of the crop, and there was await list to get on them.



    Honestly, i havent even thought about the company in over ten years. i am sure they have a good deal of IP to protect...





  • Reply 2 of 27
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,459member
    Apple gets sued...isn't this a daily occurrence?



    Meanwhile....Apple lawyers start a new file and continue work as usual.
  • Reply 3 of 27
    I was curious about this and assume others are as well. From Reuters:



    "The patent at issue relates to a computer graphics process that turns text and images into pixels to be displayed on screens."



    Dang. I'm still curious for more...
  • Reply 4 of 27
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member
    Is this akin to someone, on a lark, getting a patent for a round screen ten years ago and then out of the blue round screens suddenly being made and now the makers have to pay up for the idea of a round screen?
  • Reply 5 of 27
    bearbear Posts: 27member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ddawson100 View Post


    I was curious about this and assume others are as well. From Reuters:



    "The patent at issue relates to a computer graphics process that turns text and images into pixels to be displayed on screens."



    Dang. I'm still curious for more...



    Like what the patents are and when they were filed and issued. And is the process in software? Or in the GPU in the devices?
  • Reply 6 of 27
    Are we sure this is related to THAT SGI? As far as I know, they are still quite successful, having changed gears from high-end proprietary graphics workstations to the high-performance computing/supercomputing market...







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sandor View Post


    huh.



    i remember when the labs filled with SGI Indigo 2's were the cream of the crop, and there was await list to get on them.



    Honestly, i havent even thought about the company in over ten years. i am sure they have a good deal of IP to protect...









  • Reply 7 of 27
    Lets not give Apple a pass. They hire people to find IP thy can use and then deal with any potentials consequences down the road. They steal, Sony steals and the beat goes on.

    With a 100 billion war chest of cha ching they can afford a settlement.
  • Reply 8 of 27
    sandorsandor Posts: 507member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by winterspan View Post


    Are we sure this is related to THAT SGI? As far as I know, they are still quite successful, having changed gears from high-end proprietary graphics workstations to the high-performance computing/supercomputing market...





    yup, same one.



    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patentl...t-lawsuit.html



    they have been defending patents since they filed for bankruptcy and reorganized a few years ago.
  • Reply 9 of 27
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,752member
    A big difference here is Silicon Graphics long history developing graphical hardware. The key here is that Apple has also been an industry leader here. In otherwords this isn't, or maybe I should say wasn't a fly by night patent trol. SGI literally invented much of what we see today.
  • Reply 10 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    A big difference here is Silicon Graphics long history developing graphical hardware. The key here is that Apple has also been an industry leader here. In otherwords this isn't, or maybe I should say wasn't a fly by night patent trol. SGI literally invented much of what we see today.



    So they waited to sue everyone until Apple hit 600$??? Patent troll, period.



    The ability to turn images and text into pixels??????? OMG. Do you know how television works??????



    Just a thought.

    en
  • Reply 11 of 27
    Quote:

    The original company filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and sold much of its operations to Rackable Systems Inc.



    More like Racketeering Systems, LOL
  • Reply 12 of 27
    hattighattig Posts: 830member
    So what potential losses will this company have by halting "the sales of devices, including the iPhone, with a court injunction."



    This is not like Apple wanting to halt sales of the Galaxy Tab because Apple stands to lose sales of the iPad if the Tab remains on the market.



    This company has no products on the market, and it is just a bunch of patents and lawyers.



    The only reason to ask for an injunction is to try and blackmail the companies into licensing patents instead of the companies fighting the patents if they believe they are invalid (note that patent licenses usually state that the licensee will not attempt to discredit the patent).
  • Reply 13 of 27
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,518member
    At one point SGI was going to kick everyone butts, Sun and other workstation companies were serious concerned about them eating their lunches due to all their graphics technologies they had in the 90's then like many others they lost their way and it all fell apart. Now they have been reduce to be patent trolls.
  • Reply 14 of 27
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hattig View Post


    So what potential losses will this company have by halting "the sales of devices, including the iPhone, with a court injunction."



    This is not like Apple wanting to halt sales of the Galaxy Tab because Apple stands to lose sales of the iPad if the Tab remains on the market.



    This company has no products on the market, and it is just a bunch of patents and lawyers.



    The only reason to ask for an injunction is to try and blackmail the companies into licensing patents instead of the companies fighting the patents if they believe they are invalid (note that patent licenses usually state that the licensee will not attempt to discredit the patent).



    Apple admitted that the Tab would mostly steal sales from Android rather than the ipad. It was mentioned in a previous article, or maybe I'm thinking of another Apple vs. Samsung suit. I don't see any requests for an injunction on any of the links. Did I miss it?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post


    So they waited to sue everyone until Apple hit 600$??? Patent troll, period.



    The ability to turn images and text into pixels??????? OMG. Do you know how television works??????



    Just a thought.

    en



    Don't be a troll. Even the article notes prior filings, so yours is already a jackass statement. You don't really know how long this has been going. They had to do the research. They may have approached each of these companies before filing a suit. If offers were rejected, they still needed time to prepare their filings. The first suit was noted as 2010. That was before they hit $400. This is a company that goes back decades, much like Apple.
  • Reply 15 of 27
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    Now they have been reduce to be patent trolls.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post


    So they waited to sue everyone until Apple hit 600$??? Patent troll, period.



    I really hate when people who don't understand patents scream 'patent troll' all the time.



    First, SGI isn't a patent troll even by the broadest definition. They made a business out of the use of computers for graphics, so they have a right to obtain value from their inventions.



    In addition, the term has no meaning except to people who don't understand the concept of intellectual property. If I buy a patent, I buy all the rights granted by that patent, including the right to sue. It's no different than if I own a factory. I can use it to produce something or rent it to someone else (or even sell it). The fact that I am not using it to produce goods doesn't give you the right to move in and start using it.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post


    The ability to turn images and text into pixels??????? OMG. Do you know how television works??????



    Do you understand how patents work? SGI will have made some specific claims on a particular method for turning images and text into pixels. If the patent is valid and Apple is using the process described in the claims, they are infringing. Apple will, of course, have the right to use 'prior art' to try to invalidate the patent. In any event, it will never come down to something as trivial as 'turning images and text into pixels'. Patents have very specific claims and without knowing the claims, you have no way of knowing if Apple is infringing or not.



    Not to mention, of course, that TVs and computers operate by very different processes, anyway.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post


    Just a thought.

    en



    Not much of one.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sandor View Post


    yup, same one.



    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patentl...t-lawsuit.html



    they have been defending patents since they filed for bankruptcy and reorganized a few years ago.



    For some definitions of "same". When they went bankrupt, they sold all their assets to Rackable Systems including their name which Rackable Systems promptly assumed.
  • Reply 17 of 27
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,363member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post


    The ability to turn images and text into pixels??????? OMG. Do you know how television works??????



    In relation to this particular set of lawsuits, no. Why don't you teach us?
  • Reply 18 of 27
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bluefish86 View Post


    For some definitions of "same". When they went bankrupt, they sold all their assets to Rackable Systems including their name which Rackable Systems promptly assumed.



    So? Unless you can prove that the patent transfer was fraudulent, the new SGI has the same rights to enforce the patents as the old SGI.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A patent holder has taken aim at Apple ? along with Samsung, Sony and others ? for allegedly infringing upon inventions related to graphics processing.




    Those that can, innovate.



    Those that cannot...get sued.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,241member
    Source: http://www.sgi.com/company_info/news.../rackable.html



    Quote:

    Rackable Systems Announces Agreement to Acquire Silicon Graphics Inc.



    FREMONT, CA and SUNNYVALE, CA., April 1, 2009 ? Rackable Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:RACK), a leading provider of servers and storage products for medium to large-scale data centers, today announced its agreement to acquire substantially all the assets of Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) (NASDAQ: SGIC) for approximately $25 million in cash, subject to adjustment in certain circumstances, plus the assumption of certain liabilities associated with the acquired assets.



    The combined businesses will provide customers with market leading hardware and software technology within large-scale x86 cluster computing, HPC, Internet, Cloud Computing, large-scale data storage environments and visualization platforms across many verticals and geographies. This combination is also expected to result in a stronger global services organization; reaching commercial, government and scientific sectors on a worldwide basis.



    "The combined company will be positioned to solve the most demanding business and technology challenges our customers confront today," said Mark J. Barrenechea, president and CEO of Rackable Systems. "In addition, this combination gives us the potential for significant operational synergies, a strong balance sheet, and positions the combined company for long-term growth and profitability."



    "We have been working very hard to strengthen our company, and today, we've taken another big step in that direction," stated Robert "Bo" Ewald, CEO of Silicon Graphics. "This transaction represents a compelling opportunity for Silicon Graphics' customers, partners and employees, who can all benefit from the emerging stronger company with better technologies, products and markets reach."



    Barrenechea added, "Together, we believe we will be a much stronger entity with great products and people offering a compelling proposition to compete more effectively in, and across, our collective markets."



    Rackable has signed an Asset Purchase Agreement to acquire substantially all the assets of SGI, and to assume certain liabilities relating to the assets, pursuant to Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, under which SGI filed its petition in New York on April 1, 2009. Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of closing conditions, including the approval of the Bankruptcy Court, and other uncertainties. Subject to such conditions and uncertainties, the transaction is expected to close within approximately 60 days. It is expected that SGI's business operations will continue during the pre-closing period. SGI's international operations would be part of the sale, but would not be part of the bankruptcy process.



    Rackable also announced today that it had suspended its previously announced program including the repurchase of up to $40 million of the company's stock.



    Conference Call Information

    Rackable Systems will discuss the intent to acquire SGI in a conference call at 2:00 p.m. PST today. The public is invited to listen to a live web cast of the call on the Investor Relations section of the Rackable's website at investors.rackable.com. A replay of the webcast will be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call and remain available until the next earnings call. An audio replay of the conference call will also be made available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call. The audio replay will remain available for five days and can be accessed by dialing 1-719-457-0820 or toll free 888-203-1112 and entering the confirmation code: 6691284.



    About Rackable Systems

    Rackable Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: RACK) is a leading provider of Eco-Logical? servers and storage for medium- to large-scale data center deployments. Rackable's products, available for purchase or lease, are designed to provide benefits in the areas of density, thermal efficiency, serviceability, power distribution, data center mobility and remote management. Founded in 1999 and based in Fremont, California, Rackable Systems is a founding member of The Green Grid and serves cloud computing and services, enterprise software, federal government, digital media, financial services, oil and gas exploration and HPC customers worldwide. Additional information available at www.rackable.com.



    About Silicon Graphics Inc (SGI)

    SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC), is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI delivers a complete range of high-performance server, visualization, and storage solutions along with industry-leading professional services and support that enable its customers to overcome the challenges of complex data-intensive workflows and accelerate breakthrough discoveries, innovation and information transformation. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, the company can be found on the Web at www.sgi.com



    Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Statements

    This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the proposed acquisition, anticipated product performance, general business outlook and projected results of operations. Any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from forward-looking statements due to a number of risks and uncertainties including: the risk that the bankruptcy court may not approve the proposed acquisition; negotiations with SGI or conditions to closing of the acquisition may fail; competing parties may outbid Rackable in the bankruptcy proceedings; liabilities assumed by Rackable in the acquisition may be greater than anticipated; key personnel may not remain with Rackable following the closing; the anticipated synergies of the combined companies and the potential cost reductions may not be achieved; and the combined operations may not be successfully integrated in a timely manner, if at all. Detailed information about other potential factors that could affect Rackable Systems' business, financial condition and results of operations is included in Rackable Systems' annual report on Form 10-K under the caption "Risk Factors," in Part I, Item 1A of that report, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on March 19, 2009, as updated by Rackable Systems' subsequent filings with the SEC, all of which are available at the SEC's Web site at http://www.sec.gov. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this report. Rackable Systems undertakes no responsibility to update the information in this report.



    Additional Information: Contact Information for Rackable Systems:



    Mark Paisley

    Senior Director, Investor Relations

    Rackable Systems, Inc.

    510-933-8382

    [email protected]

    Jen Spark

    Schwartz Communications

    (415) 512-0770

    [email protected]



    Contact Information for Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI):



    Bob Pette

    Silicon Graphics, Inc.

    Vice President, Corporate Marketing

    408-524-2810




    Now if any here believe SGI had significant valuation in their Patent IP Portfolio, please explain the lack of interest by third parties to purchase it to insulate themselves from it.



    FWIW: http://www.google.com/finance?q=SGI



    Present Market Cap Value: $324.02 Million.



    In short, they do not have significant IP left.
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