ITC investigates Apple & AT&T over haptic patent complaints by Immersion

Posted:
in iPhone
On Tuesday the U.S. International Trade Commission launched an investigation into Apple and AT&T, following up on a complaint by San Jose's Immersion that various products are violating its haptic feedback patents.




The ITC is aiming to complete the investigation within 45 days, according to an official announcement. Immersion originally made the complaint on May 5, and is asking the ITC to issue cease-and-desist orders plus a limited exclusion order.

The announcement doesn't specify which products are the target of the investigation except for "smartphones and laptops." With Apple, though, that implies devices equipped with 3D Touch or Force Touch, specifically the iPhone 6s/6s Plus and recent MacBook models, excluding the MacBook Air.

The investigation is linked to a lawsuit also dating back to May 5, launched against Apple and AT&T via a Delaware district court. Immersion claimed the companies are infringing on four haptic patents via MacBooks and the iPhone 6s. A similar lawsuit and ITC complaint filed earlier in the year included the Apple Watch in accusations.

Apple made haptic feedback an important element of its 2015 product lineup. While 3D Touch and Force Touch are nominally about pressure-sensitive controls, haptic technology responds to these gestures with complex vibrations.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    anomeanome Posts: 1,264member
    Why AT&T? Do they have some special branded product that has it? Or has AT&T's PC division re-emerged from the grave with some kind of offering?
    jbdragonicoco3redgeminipa
  • Reply 2 of 7
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Investigate away....
    jbdragon
  • Reply 3 of 7
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,071member
    foggyhill said:
    Investigate away....
    There's all kinds is ways to do something.  Just because a device has some kind of haptic support doesn't mean it's their domain only.  As  long as Apple didn't do exactly what they did and found a different way of doing things, Apple is good.
    redgeminipa
  • Reply 4 of 7
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,586member
    Haptic feedback has been around far longer than Immersion. It's laughable that they think their patents would hold up to scrutiny.
    redgeminipa
  • Reply 5 of 7
    VisualSeedVisualSeed Posts: 217member
    jbdragon said:
    foggyhill said:
    Investigate away....
    There's all kinds is ways to do something.  Just because a device has some kind of haptic support doesn't mean it's their domain only.  As  long as Apple didn't do exactly what they did and found a different way of doing things, Apple is good.
    Sometimes a company has to sue in order to protect the license agreements it has already sold (and future ones it is trying to) Even if Apple isn't infringing, Immersion may be sued by a license holder to void their agreement because they have failed to protect their IP. Win or lose as long as their IP is not invalidated it's all good for Immersion.
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 6 of 7
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,459member
    jbdragon said:
    There's all kinds is ways to do something.  Just because a device has some kind of haptic support doesn't mean it's their domain only.  As  long as Apple didn't do exactly what they did and found a different way of doing things, Apple is good.
    Sometimes a company has to sue in order to protect the license agreements it has already sold (and future ones it is trying to) Even if Apple isn't infringing, Immersion may be sued by a license holder to void their agreement because they have failed to protect their IP. Win or lose as long as their IP is not invalidated it's all good for Immersion.
    They why doesn't the law provide for Immersion to foot the legal bills for the other company?  If they truly did nothing wrong then they should get paid for having to defend themselves.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    beltsbearbeltsbear Posts: 314member
    There was a haptic mouse in the Windows 95 days.  With extensions I would imagine it would prior art most of this. 
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