Apple hit with patent suit over simultaneous voice and data, Wi-Fi tech

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple is once again being taken to court for alleged patent infringement, as non-practicing entity Wyncomm claims the iPhone and iPad are in violation of a 16-year old AT&T patent pertaining to simultaneous voice and data transmission.

Wyncomm Patent
Illustration from the '866 patent. | Source: USPTO


Patent holding company Wyncomm filed the suit in a Delaware district court on Thursday, alleging Apple's cellular products are in infringement of a Wi-Fi related patent. The complaint is targeting an Apple product features that allows a user to make a phone call and use Wi-Fi data at the same time, reports The Mac Observer.

The patent-in-suit, U.S. Patent No. 5,506,866 for "Side-channel communications in simultaneous voice and data transmission," was originally an AT&T invention granted protection by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1996.

As noted by The Essential Patent Blog, the property changed hands multiple times, including ownership by Lucent, AT&T subsidiary Paradyne, and two patent holding companies, before ending up with Wyncomm. The NPE, or "patent troll," is also asserting the same patent against Acer, ASUSTek, Blu Products, Bonac Innovation, and Casio, with complaint all filed on the same day.

With the patent expiring in November of 2013, Wyncomm is looking for a quick payout for past and "any continuing or future infringement" of the '866 patent, and does not appear to be seeking an injunction at this time. Damage amounts were unspecified and Apple has yet to comment on the matter.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63


    despite the 50 plus claims, it seems the patent is based upon the use of side channel communications.


    An entirely digital smartphone would not be using side channel methods at all. The Wifi is on an entirely different carrier frequency than the "voice" part. That is not sideband or side channel

  • Reply 2 of 63


    I believe this complaint coincides with the definition of the term "patent troll"

  • Reply 3 of 63
    adrayvenadrayven Posts: 460member


    Agreed. PSTN is another term for POTs or Plain Old Telephone lines. This is OLD land line patent that relates to things like T1, ISDN, etc.. How on earth they expect that to hold up if this is their only claim in the case? Usually it's spaghetti approach and see what sticks. lol


     


    I have to wonder if THEY understand the tech patent they have. That would be funny. :D


     


    Never know.. We've see people win lawsuits for coffee being to hot.. If they babble fast enough and confuse the jury, they might win anyway. lol

  • Reply 4 of 63
    Another day, another 3 lawsuits against Apple.

    Wi-LAN sues Apple over Wi-Fi, HSPA wireless technology patents
    Apple sued over OS X Quick Look preview feature
    Apple sued by 'patent troll' over Numbers software
  • Reply 5 of 63
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 476member
    henryaaron wrote: »
    I believe this complaint coincides with the definition of the term "patent troll"
    Yes. It's not like Apple has ever sued anyone for using their patents without licensing them first.
  • Reply 6 of 63
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by bulk001 View Post

    Yes. It's not like Apple has ever sued anyone for using their patents without licensing them first.


     


    Take a moment. Are you, in all honesty, comparing Apple, a company that ACTUALLY MAKES PRODUCTS, BOTH HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE, USING PATENTS BOUGHT OR DEVELOPED EXCLUSIVELY BY THEM THEMSELVES to a company that makes no products nor patents but simply buys them?


     



     


    Again, take your time.

  • Reply 7 of 63
    jollypauljollypaul Posts: 328member


    This is a "Hail Mary" see if it sticks play. Put the ball in the roulette wheel of justice and see where it lands.

  • Reply 8 of 63
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by JollyPaul View Post

    This is a "Hail Mary" see if it sticks play. Put the ball in the roulette wheel of justice and see where it lands.


     


    "Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200,000,000."

  • Reply 9 of 63


    The simultaneous voice and data is a function of the network, that's why Verizon cannot do it.


     


    They should sue AT&T for its own patent. LOL 

  • Reply 10 of 63
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member


    There should be some sort of limit to how long you can wait before filing an infringement claim.  Everyone has known that the iPhone (and AT&T's network at least) has this ability for, what, 5 years, and they bring the case now?  "Case dismissed for reason of tacit consent after extended disinclination to make a claim."  (I just made that up, but I give permission for any judges out there to use it.)

  • Reply 11 of 63
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I'm no patent lawyer but I can't see how anything in this patent relates to anything being used today. If there models weren't specifically stating they were analog perhaps I'd think they had something, but as it is this looks like the most pathetic patent troll date.


    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/23513/width/500/height/1000[/IMG]
    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/23514/width/500/height/1000[/IMG]
  • Reply 12 of 63
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,118member


    " as non-practicing entity Wyncomm"


     


    Oh, go **** yourselves. 

  • Reply 13 of 63
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    The simultaneous voice and data is a function of the network, that's why Verizon cannot do it.

    They should sue AT&T for its own patent. LOL 

    1) Verizon has SV&D with LTE, just not with the iPhone due to the number of antennas.

    2) It's really a function of the network protocols utilized more than the network itself. Verizon and Sprint's '3GPP2 3G' was originally designed without that option. It was later added to EV-DO which both Verizon and Sprint supported as far back as 2011 with a smattering of devices. AT&T and Sprint's 3GPP '3G' was designed with it, or at least added it much sooner and in a much less costlier way.
  • Reply 14 of 63
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

    I'm no patent lawyer but I can't see how anything in this patent relates to anything being used today.


     


  • Reply 15 of 63
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    despite the 50 plus claims, it seems the patent is based upon the use of side channel communications.
    An entirely digital smartphone would not be using side channel methods at all. The Wifi is on an entirely different carrier frequency than the "voice" part. That is not sideband or side channel

    This sounds like it is more about the cell data than wifi. But something tells me this will turn out to be SEP and either they refused requests to license or it was exhausted somewhere in the line
  • Reply 16 of 63
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    adrayven wrote: »
    see people win lawsuits for coffee being to hot..

    That would be because it was too hot. Folks diss on that case cause yes it was stupid for her to have the cup in her lap but an investigation showed that McDonalds in her area and others were brewing the coffee too hot.
  • Reply 17 of 63
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post





    Originally Posted by bulk001 View Post

    Yes. It's not like Apple has ever sued anyone for using their patents without licensing them first.


     


    Take a moment. Are you, in all honesty, comparing Apple, a company that ACTUALLY MAKES PRODUCTS, BOTH HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE, USING PATENTS BOUGHT OR DEVELOPED EXCLUSIVELY BY THEM THEMSELVES to a company that makes no products nor patents but simply buys them?


     



     


    Again, take your time.



     


    Reply from bulk001:


     



            RUN AWAY!  RUN AWAY!

  • Reply 18 of 63
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    malax wrote: »
    There should be some sort of limit to how long you can wait before filing an infringement claim.  Everyone has known that the iPhone (and AT&T's network at least) has this ability for, what, 5 years, and they bring the case now?  "Case dismissed for reason of tacit consent after extended disinclination to make a claim."  (I just made that up, but I give permission for any judges out there to use it.)

    A part of me agrees with this. Folks will say that sometimes you need time to reverse engineer etc, so make them file something showing they suspect infringement and are entering investigation. That paperwork gives them say a year after which a clock of X time ( i like 3 years) runs for them to file suit. If they don't then at the least they can't get anything more than proven actual damages, if that. Better would be no damages for past infringement but the offending item is banned until a licensing deal is set up. If its non SEP and the owners don't want to license then the ban is until the offender proves to the court the offense is removed.
  • Reply 19 of 63
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

    That would be because it was too hot. Folks diss on that case cause yes it was stupid for her to have the cup in her lap but an investigation showed that McDonalds in her area and others were brewing the coffee too hot.


     


    As in "too hot for human consumption", "hotter than company guidelines", or "hotter than it was reasonable to have without changing the warning on the cup to "CAUTION: HOLY FRICK"?

  • Reply 20 of 63
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    charlituna wrote: »
    That would be because it was too hot. Folks diss on that case cause yes it was stupid for her to have the cup in her lap but an investigation showed that McDonalds in her area and others were brewing the coffee too hot.

    It's funny how something can be the poster child for something and yet not be a valid example.

    Do people really not know that she went to the hospital where she remained there for 8 days getting skin gaffs or do they really just want to assume that the word "hot" means any temperature above warm yet still be perfectly acceptable and reasonable.

    For the younger audience or those that may have "conveniently" forgotten the facts there is documentary from 2011 on the issue on Netflix: http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Hot_Coffee/70167106?locale=en-US I have not seen it so I can't endorse its authenticity.
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