Apple faces fresh USITC investigation over alleged Screen Sharing, AirPlay Mirroring paten...

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2017
The U.S. International Trade Commission has declared that it has launched an investigation of many of Apple's present and past products that use Screen Sharing and AirPlay Mirroring, after complaints from a company and its licensing subsidiary that develops cross-platform remote access solutions.




The investigation was reportedly launched in response to complaints from Aqua Connect, and Strategic Technology Partners -- both of Orange, Calif. Strategic Technology Partners is wholly-owned by Aqua Connect, and was spun-off from the parent company solely for the purpose of "holding its patents in a dedicated subsidiary."

A Reuters report claims that the products listed are "certain Apple Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Apple TV" according to the USITC.

The pair of companies launched a suit on October 10, regarding Aqua Connect's remote desktop and terminal server application. Aqua Connect claims that Apple "worked closely" on development and sales of the product until early 2011.

In July 2011, Apple launched Lion, and included Screen Sharing for the first time. Aqua Connect believes that the feature uses Aqua Connect's patented technology. The company also believes that AirPlay Mirroring uses the same technology base, and is named in the suit as well.

The patents cited are RE46,386 titled "Updating a user session in a mach-derived computer system environment" and 8,924,502 called "System, method and computer program product for updating a user session in a mach-derived system environment."

Not clear is how Apple Remote Desktop, a software package that was launched in 2002 and is more full-featured than Screen Sharing or AirPlay Mirroring, may play into the suit. Aqua Connect was founded in 2007, five years after Apple Remote Desktop shipped.

Aqua Connect claims that Apple's previous way of doing things was "rudimentary screen sharing functionality" and that the current implementation violates core patents held by the patent-holding subsidiary.

The suit seeks an enjoinment of Apple using the two patents cited in the suit, a judgement and order requiring compensatory damages, and a finding that Apple has willfully violated the patents in question.

While it is not clear if the remote access patents are what Aqua Connect and Strategic Technology Partners have complained about, it seems likely. The lawsuit is case number 8:17-cv-1762 in the Southern California Federal Court system.

USITC examinations can take some time before they are resolved, with the average case taking well more than a year, and sometimes spanning up to three years.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    These are very generic company names. The top search results for both are probably not the relevant companies:
    https://www.aquaconnectweb.com
    http://www.strategictechtexas.com

    Any idea what the plaintiffs actually do?
  • Reply 2 of 12
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,303administrator
    mknelson said:
    These are very generic company names. The top search results for both are probably not the relevant companies:
    https://www.aquaconnectweb.com
    http://www.strategictechtexas.com

    Any idea what the plaintiffs actually do?
    Getting there. I've already added more data to the story.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Did the company ever heard of something call MS Remote Desktop?
    racerhomie
  • Reply 4 of 12
    Looks like they licensed the Microsoft RDP protocol for the Mac OS X, when Mac (and Unix) were already using different protocols (and tools) for a long time.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    mknelson said:
    These are very generic company names. The top search results for both are probably not the relevant companies:
    https://www.aquaconnectweb.com
    http://www.strategictechtexas.com

    Any idea what the plaintiffs actually do?
    Getting there. I've already added more data to the story.
    http://www.aquaconnect.net/

    Reverse phone number search 
  • Reply 6 of 12
    Another non practicing troll 
    jbdragon
  • Reply 7 of 12
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,303administrator
    viclauyyc said:
    mknelson said:
    These are very generic company names. The top search results for both are probably not the relevant companies:
    https://www.aquaconnectweb.com
    http://www.strategictechtexas.com

    Any idea what the plaintiffs actually do?
    Getting there. I've already added more data to the story.
    http://www.aquaconnect.net/

    Reverse phone number search 
    Yeah, I already added that to the story -- but thanks.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,752member
    prior use .. doesn't matter to those dumbasses at the patent office, adding "with a computer".. means everything.
    edited November 2017
  • Reply 9 of 12
    Let ‘em sort it out in court.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    netroxnetrox Posts: 652member
    Just wondering.. how do they know they copied the code or can an idea which seems to be very generic be patented?
  • Reply 11 of 12
    foggyhill said:
    prior use .. doesn't matter to those dumbasses at the patent office, adding "with a computer".. means everything.
    If it is the patents mentioned, then yeah...  They are just describing communication over shared memory.  That is what shared memory was literally designed for.  Sure serialization algorithms over shared memory can be tricky to get right, but these patents don’t get in to those details.  Instead it is literally just saying one process writes to shared memory while the user space process reads from it.  That is like patenting one person talking on a phone while another person is listening to them on another phone.  That is literally what the phone already does.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,752member
    esummers said:
    foggyhill said:
    prior use .. doesn't matter to those dumbasses at the patent office, adding "with a computer".. means everything.
    If it is the patents mentioned, then yeah...  They are just describing communication over shared memory.  That is what shared memory was literally designed for.  Sure serialization algorithms over shared memory can be tricky to get right, but these patents don’t get in to those details.  Instead it is literally just saying one process writes to shared memory while the user space process reads from it.  That is like patenting one person talking on a phone while another person is listening to them on another phone.  That is literally what the phone already does.
    This kind of thing I did in the mids 1980s in many different languages... I truly dion't get those dumbasses, they're just rubber stambs.
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