Maxell again sues Apple over passcode unlock, Wi-Fi assist and other features

Posted:
in General Discussion
Electronics maker Maxell on Thursday filed a new lawsuit accusing Apple of infringing on at five of its patents with products and features like Wi-Fi Assist and passcodes.

Credit: Neonbrand
Credit: Neonbrand


The complaint, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, comes more than a year after Maxell filed a similar lawsuit that claimed Apple was violating 10 U.S. patents. Maxell's lawsuit on Thursday brings the total number of patents to 15.

Maxell's U.S. patents named in the lawsuit cover various technologies such as mobile communications, device unlocking, white balance adjustment settings, wireless video sharing and facial recognition in photo albums.

For example, the company says that Apple's People album in Photos, which groups together pictures of individual people, is violating U.S. Patent No. 10,176,848. The patent includes a technique that would allow a user to register a picture of a specific person and have future images of the same person "categorized and recorded in association."

Another patent named in the complaint, No. 7,203,517, describes a method to curb communication instability by allowing a system to choose between different communication systems based on several factors. Maxell says that Apple's Wi-Fi Assist feature violates this patent.

Additionally, the Japan-based firm claims that Apple's security unlocking systems, its photo editing tools in Camera, and its AirPlay and Bluetooth sharing features are all in violation of three separate patents.

Along with the specific software features, a slew of different Apple devices are named as infringing products. They include everything from an iPhone 7 to the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

On each patent infringement count, Maxell contends that the Cupertino tech company is and has been aware of the existence of the patents and could not "reasonably" belief that they are invalid.

"Despite that knowledge and subjective belief, and the objectively high likelihood that its actions constitute infringement, Apple has continued its infringing activities," the lawsuit reads.

Maxell is seeking a jury trial, as well as damages and both preliminary and permanent injunctions on the offending software and hardware.

Apple's first litigation with Maxell is still ongoing. Recently, a U.S. District Judge granted special measures in the case to allow Maxell to review Apple source code related to the patent infringement claims.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Didn't they make blank cassettes at one point?
    mattinozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,333member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Didn't they make blank cassettes at one point?
    https://youtu.be/RBauT4ADKbw
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,636member
    Why do I get the feeling computers never delivered on the promises they made 30 years ago due to bucket loads of overly broad low utility not at all novel patents.

    InspiredCodePetrolDavewilliamlondonDAalsethwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    So Maxell survived the demise of the floppy disk by becoming a patent troll I see
    PetrolDavemattinozmike1williamlondonStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,532member
    Maxell invented the iPhone.
    raybowatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,532member
    auxio said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Didn't they make blank cassettes at one point?
    https://youtu.be/RBauT4ADKbw

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 14
    So Maxell survived the demise of the floppy disk by becoming a patent troll I see
    Your assessment of patent troll is based on what?  Can't be facts. https://www.dnb.com/business-directory/company-profiles.maxell_holdings_ltd.492ad209137f79dfb54c47f63334ce05.html 
    So I'm guessing you were just attempting a bit of humor.  If that's the case, carry on.  Whether their lawsuits have merit is a question for the courts.  Regardless, no definition of patent troll fits Maxell.
    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 14
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 830member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Didn't they make blank cassettes at one point?
    I found some unopened ones in my (late) father's desk. I'm tempted to put them on E-Bay and see what the hipsters will pay!

    The People Albums complaint sounds bogus. That patent was filed in 2014. Apple had facial recognition in 10.5 Leopard (2008 iirc).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,584member
    Lord our patent system is broken. Ideas aren’t patentable, implementations are. The idea of a flying car is not patentable, but how your anti-grav engine works is.

    Software isn’t like physical goods and it really seems to have confused the patent office. Software is already protected by copyright, they should just stop taking software patents as they’re largely just ideas and not detailed implementations. Everybody writes their own code and it’s unique so code theft just isn’t a concern. 
    CheeseFreezewatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,584member

    So Maxell survived the demise of the floppy disk by becoming a patent troll I see
    Your assessment of patent troll is based on what?  Can't be facts. https://www.dnb.com/business-directory/company-profiles.maxell_holdings_ltd.492ad209137f79dfb54c47f63334ce05.html 
    So I'm guessing you were just attempting a bit of humor.  If that's the case, carry on.  Whether their lawsuits have merit is a question for the courts.  Regardless, no definition of patent troll fits Maxell.
    You don’t have to be a NPE to be a patent troll — it’s the behavior, not the portfolio. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,733member
    If Passcode Unlock is not obvious and covered by prior art, then I don't know what could be. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 14
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,636member
    DAalseth said:
    If Passcode Unlock is not obvious and covered by prior art, then I don't know what could be. 

    Wifi-assist is not that different to Microwave backup links just more consummer orientated.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 14

    So Maxell survived the demise of the floppy disk by becoming a patent troll I see
    Your assessment of patent troll is based on what?  Can't be facts. https://www.dnb.com/business-directory/company-profiles.maxell_holdings_ltd.492ad209137f79dfb54c47f63334ce05.html 
    So I'm guessing you were just attempting a bit of humor.  If that's the case, carry on.  Whether their lawsuits have merit is a question for the courts.  Regardless, no definition of patent troll fits Maxell.
    You don’t have to be a NPE to be a patent troll — it’s the behavior, not the portfolio. 
    What behavior?  They're claiming patent infringement.  The same thing tons of companies do, including Apple.  Maxell doesn't derive the majority of their revenue from patents.  They have actual products, employees, and revenue of over a billion a year.  So again, what behavior have they displayed that would make them a patent troll?
  • Reply 14 of 14
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,216member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Didn't they make blank cassettes at one point?

    Maxell MX 110 TYPE IV!   I used to steal these all metal cassettes from my father to put all of my "important" albums on.. hahaha. he used to use these to records sets when he played out. Soooo long ago.. great memories!
    watto_cobra
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