OLED patent aggregator suing Apple over implementation of every screen it uses

Posted:
in General Discussion
A firm that aggregates patents on OLED tech has sued Apple over a wide array of products, alleging that despite not making its own OLED screens, Apple is responsible for the infringements.




Irish firm Solas OLED has filed an omnibus suit on Thursday in the Western District of Texas. In it, the patent holding firm that has no tangible production beyond patent licensing alleges that products ranging from the Apple Watch, to the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro, and including the iPhone lineup since the iPhone X stand in infringement of its patents.

The patent violation allegations delve deeply into OLED manufacture and communication on the microscopic level.

The firm alleges in all three patents, and for all products that the patents are allegedly being infringed, that "Apple has directly infringed (literally and equivalently) and induced others" to infringe. Apple is allegedly doing so by "making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing products that infringe the claims" of the patents in question.

At present, it isn't clear why the suit has been levied against Apple's, and not against OLED screen manufacturers Samsung and LG Display nor Apple's main OLED screen assembler Foxconn. AppleInsider hasn't been able to find any action against the suppliers or manufacturers by Solas OLED. Emails to Solas OLED asking about specifics of the suit and why they specifically chose Apple to sue have not been returned as of yet.

A brief review of the patents alleged show them to be at the core of OLED architecture. Samsung, LG, Japan Display, and other companies have similar patents. At present, it isn't clear how the allegations by Solas stack up against the patents held by Apple's suppliers and manufacturers.

Solas OLED is requesting a judgement affirming the infringement, validation of the three patents leveraged in the trial, and a permanent injunction barring further acts of infringement. The normal damages payment is demanded, as are "compensatory damages, costs, expenses, and pre- and post- judgment interest for its infringement of the asserted patents."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,441member
    Yawnnnnn...
    netmageCarnagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    The patent system and the court system are both vitally important institutions. Let it play out.

    But I certainly find it interesting to wonder whether a patent owner should be suing the final merchant or the initial merchant of the part. I suspect the patent owner can choose either.
  • Reply 3 of 22
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 186member
    Apple has deep pockets which is why they started with them. This suit is going nowhere because Apple only purchased the products and had nothing to do with their creation or the IP used to make them.
    netmagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,243member
    jimh2 said:
    Apple has deep pockets which is why they started with them. This suit is going nowhere because Apple only purchased the products and had nothing to do with their creation or the IP used to make them.
    The patent owner has absolute standing to sue Apple for infringing.
    "Patent owners can sue anyone up and down the chain of distribution for infringement of patent. Manufacturers, distributors and end users are all possible litigants." 
    mld53aCloudTalkinmuthuk_vanalingamCarnagejony0
  • Reply 5 of 22
    Thought Apple closed their last store in the area to avoid this district from being used...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 22
    Western District of Texas is a lovely place to do business I hear.
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,243member
    MissNomer said:
    Thought Apple closed their last store in the area to avoid this district from being used...
    That was East Texas. 

    Patentee-friendly West Texas is the "new East Texas" and moving out of their jurisdiction would entail a whole more than closing a store or two. Highly unlikely Apple would be willing to do so. This is one they'll have to live with. 
    MissNomerCloudTalkinmuthuk_vanalingamFileMakerFellerjony0
  • Reply 8 of 22
    MissNomer said:
    Thought Apple closed their last store in the area to avoid this district from being used...
    IANAL, but I believe suits can be filed in the district as long as Apple is alleged to have infringed during the time an Apple store was open there.

    (edit) Perhaps an actual lawyer will fill us in.
    edited September 12
  • Reply 9 of 22
    gatorguy said:
    MissNomer said:
    Thought Apple closed their last store in the area to avoid this district from being used...
    That was East Texas. 

    Patentee-friendly West Texas is the "new East Texas" and moving out of their jurisdiction would entail a whole more than closing a store or two. Highly unlikely Apple would be willing to do so. This is one they'll have to live with. 
    It should still be better than the Eastern district. The Western district includes San Antonio and Austin. The Eastern district didn't cover any large metros (other than a few suburbs of Dallas). There isn't nearly as much of a financial incentive to boost the frivolous lawsuit industry.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,243member
    dkhaley said:
    gatorguy said:
    MissNomer said:
    Thought Apple closed their last store in the area to avoid this district from being used...
    That was East Texas. 

    Patentee-friendly West Texas is the "new East Texas" and moving out of their jurisdiction would entail a whole more than closing a store or two. Highly unlikely Apple would be willing to do so. This is one they'll have to live with. 
    It should still be better than the Eastern district. The Western district includes San Antonio and Austin. The Eastern district didn't cover any large metros (other than a few suburbs of Dallas). There isn't nearly as much of a financial incentive to boost the frivolous lawsuit industry.
    The Western District includes Apple's engineering offices, many of their data mining/analysis teams, a new $1B complex in North Austin, retail stores...
    Apple's not moving. 
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 11 of 22
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,887member
    gatorguy said:
    jimh2 said:
    Apple has deep pockets which is why they started with them. This suit is going nowhere because Apple only purchased the products and had nothing to do with their creation or the IP used to make them.
    The patent owner has absolute standing to sue Apple for infringing.
    "Patent owners can sue anyone up and down the chain of distribution for infringement of patent. Manufacturers, distributors and end users are all possible litigants." 
    That statement smells like something uttered by a scum sucking vulture lawyer. Who was it?
    magman1979netmageCarnagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,243member
    entropys said:
    gatorguy said:
    jimh2 said:
    Apple has deep pockets which is why they started with them. This suit is going nowhere because Apple only purchased the products and had nothing to do with their creation or the IP used to make them.
    The patent owner has absolute standing to sue Apple for infringing.
    "Patent owners can sue anyone up and down the chain of distribution for infringement of patent. Manufacturers, distributors and end users are all possible litigants." 
    That statement smells like something uttered by a scum sucking vulture lawyer. Who was it?
    Yup, a patent attorney. Sadly he appears to be correct. 
    edited September 12
  • Reply 13 of 22
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,722member
    gatorguy said:
    dkhaley said:
    gatorguy said:
    MissNomer said:
    Thought Apple closed their last store in the area to avoid this district from being used...
    That was East Texas. 

    Patentee-friendly West Texas is the "new East Texas" and moving out of their jurisdiction would entail a whole more than closing a store or two. Highly unlikely Apple would be willing to do so. This is one they'll have to live with. 
    It should still be better than the Eastern district. The Western district includes San Antonio and Austin. The Eastern district didn't cover any large metros (other than a few suburbs of Dallas). There isn't nearly as much of a financial incentive to boost the frivolous lawsuit industry.
    The Western District includes Apple's engineering offices, many of their data mining/analysis teams, a new $1B complex in North Austin, retail stores...
    Apple's not moving. 
    I say we just lest Texas secede 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 22
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,146moderator
    The patent system and the court system are both vitally important institutions. Let it play out.

    But I certainly find it interesting to wonder whether a patent owner should be suing the final merchant or the initial merchant of the part. I suspect the patent owner can choose either.
    Usually when you go after the final product manufacturer it’s a case of indirect infringement; use of infringing technology in a product.  I’m this case the manufacturer (Apple) would hold its supplier liable via indemnification clauses in the supplier contract.  

    But by suing Apple for direct infringement it’s implied that Apple introduced the infringing tech and not its suppliers.  So either they are suing for something Apple introduced to the OLED tech specific to Apple’s implementation, or the plaintive is going to have their  suit rejected.  
    edited September 12 netmageFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    The suit is in US court over a US Patent.  Apple imports the alegedly infringing products into the US.  Apple is the direct infringer.

    US courts have no jurisdiction over what Samsung does in Korea.

    US Patents give the right to prevent sale, manufacturer or import....
    gatorguynetmageFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 16 of 22
    Apple are just the user, the same as us. Are they going to sue the people who own the products too?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,243member
    The patent system and the court system are both vitally important institutions. Let it play out.

    But I certainly find it interesting to wonder whether a patent owner should be suing the final merchant or the initial merchant of the part. I suspect the patent owner can choose either.
    Usually when you go after the final product manufacturer it’s a case of indirect infringement; use of infringing technology in a product.  I’m this case the manufacturer (Apple) would hold its supplier liable via indemnification clauses in the supplier contract.  

    But by suing Apple for direct infringement it’s implied that Apple introduced the infringing tech and not its suppliers.  So either they are suing for something Apple introduced to the OLED tech specific to Apple’s implementation, or the plaintive is going to have their  suit rejected.  
    If you read the filing itself, which Mike was gracious enough to link in the article, it better explains both the direct and indirect infringement claims Apple is being accused of. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 22
    gatorguy said:
    jimh2 said:
    Apple has deep pockets which is why they started with them. This suit is going nowhere because Apple only purchased the products and had nothing to do with their creation or the IP used to make them.
    The patent owner has absolute standing to sue Apple for infringing.
    "Patent owners can sue anyone up and down the chain of distribution for infringement of patent. Manufacturers, distributors and end users are all possible litigants." 
    Sure they can sue end users, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have a leg to stand on in court when they get there.  This will be interesting.  I’m hoping this gets tossed immediately.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,967administrator
    The suit is in US court over a US Patent.  Apple imports the alegedly infringing products into the US.  Apple is the direct infringer.

    US courts have no jurisdiction over what Samsung does in Korea.

    US Patents give the right to prevent sale, manufacturer or import....
    Samsung and Foxconn have US business entities. See also: Apple versus Samsung for about four years.
    netmageFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 22
    gatorguy said:
    dkhaley said:
    gatorguy said:
    MissNomer said:
    Thought Apple closed their last store in the area to avoid this district from being used...
    That was East Texas. 

    Patentee-friendly West Texas is the "new East Texas" and moving out of their jurisdiction would entail a whole more than closing a store or two. Highly unlikely Apple would be willing to do so. This is one they'll have to live with. 
    It should still be better than the Eastern district. The Western district includes San Antonio and Austin. The Eastern district didn't cover any large metros (other than a few suburbs of Dallas). There isn't nearly as much of a financial incentive to boost the frivolous lawsuit industry.
    The Western District includes Apple's engineering offices, many of their data mining/analysis teams, a new $1B complex in North Austin, retail stores...
    Apple's not moving. 
    Apple: "Yeah, OK, we'll manufacture more of our equipment in the USA. Texas is offering us some concessions."
    Trolls: "Texas? Hahahahaha!"
    watto_cobra
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