Apple sued for alleged infringement of wireless communication patents

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple has been hit with a lawsuit claiming that the iPhone and other cellular-enabled products infringe on a handful of wireless communication patents.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The complaint, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on Wednesday, alleges that Apple knowingly infringes on five pieces of intellectual property owned by Delaware-based Neo Wireless, LLC.

Those patents focus on some of the underlying systems related to wireless communications, frequency bands, and other cellular technologies. First filed for between 2005 and 2004 by inventor Xiaodong Li and others co-inventors, they cover portions of technology related to LTE standards finalized under the 3rd Generation Partnership Project -- a group of standards organizations who develop telecom protocols.

More specifically, the lawsuit goes after the way that iPhones are set up to use multiple cellular networks, including LTE and 5G.

"To utilize LTE or 4G and NR or 5G networks, the iPhone is manufactured to comply with wireless standards, such as the 3GPP standards, that ensure compatibility of wireless devices and wireless networks," the complaint reads.

Although not specifically named, Apple's other cellular-enabled devices -- like the Apple Watch and iPad -- are presumably included in the lawsuit's claims of infringement.

For example, the complaint claims that Apple's iPhone and cellular devices infringe on a portion of U.S. Patent No. 8,467,366 patent related to 3GPP LTE standard specifications. Other claims of infringement follow a similar pattern.

The five patents named in the suit are listed below.

  • U.S. Patent No. 8,467,366 ("Methods and Apparatus for Random Access in Multi-Carrier Communication Systems."

  • U.S. Patent No. 9,363,06 ("Method and Apparatus for Flexible Use of Frequency Bands.")

  • U.S. Patent No. 10,833,908 ("Channel Probing Signal for a Broadband Communication System.")

  • U.S. Patent No.
    10,075,941 ("Methods and Apparatus for Multi-Carrier Communications With Adaptive Transmission and Feedback.")

  • U.S. Patent No. 10,447,450 ("Method and System for Multi-Carrier Packet Communication with Reduced Overhead.")

The complaint, which asks for a jury trial, demands Apple pay damages, costs, and other expenses related to its alleged infringement of the patents; a judgement ordering the company to pay ongoing royalties; and reimbursement of attorneys fees.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    Ok what does the mobile carriers and the FCC have to say. And the frand rules.

    FRAND is the acronym for fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory. FRAND is the acronym for fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory. It generally arises in antitrust cases where an owner of intellectual property rights (IPR) refuses to grant a licence or refuses to grant a licence on FRAND terms.

    watto_cobralongpath
  • Reply 2 of 8
    killroy said:
    Ok what does the mobile carriers and the FCC have to say. And the frand rules.

    FRAND is the acronym for fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory. FRAND is the acronym for fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory. It generally arises in antitrust cases where an owner of intellectual property rights (IPR) refuses to grant a licence or refuses to grant a licence on FRAND terms.

    Based on a cursory search, none of the patents in question are Standards Essential Patents (SEP), so FRAND licensing wouldn't be applicable in this case.  FRAND terms are  usually in cases where SEP's are being debated.  Again, a quick glance says this case has no SEP's so FRAND isn't applicable.  The FCC has nothing to say in a legal matter that isn't under their purview.  AFAIK, this issue isn't.
    muthuk_vanalingamgatorguy
  • Reply 3 of 8
    "The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas". It should be renamed the "Sue Apple Court for the Western District of Texas" where ALL such suits are filed, because Texas is where Apple invariably loses due to it being the A**hole of the world!
    elijahgflyingdpwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 8
    killroy said:
    Ok what does the mobile carriers and the FCC have to say. And the frand rules.

    FRAND is the acronym for fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory. FRAND is the acronym for fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory. It generally arises in antitrust cases where an owner of intellectual property rights (IPR) refuses to grant a licence or refuses to grant a licence on FRAND terms.

    Based on a cursory search, none of the patents in question are Standards Essential Patents (SEP), so FRAND licensing wouldn't be applicable in this case.  FRAND terms are  usually in cases where SEP's are being debated.  Again, a quick glance says this case has no SEP's so FRAND isn't applicable.  The FCC has nothing to say in a legal matter that isn't under their purview.  AFAIK, this issue isn't.

    So that would mean there is more than one way to do LTE 4 and G5. Well the FCC regulates the LTE and G5 bands.

    watto_cobralongpath
  • Reply 5 of 8
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 934member
    And why not the chip maker? Ie Qualcomm?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 8
    killroy said:
    killroy said:
    Ok what does the mobile carriers and the FCC have to say. And the frand rules.

    FRAND is the acronym for fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory. FRAND is the acronym for fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory. It generally arises in antitrust cases where an owner of intellectual property rights (IPR) refuses to grant a licence or refuses to grant a licence on FRAND terms.

    Based on a cursory search, none of the patents in question are Standards Essential Patents (SEP), so FRAND licensing wouldn't be applicable in this case.  FRAND terms are  usually in cases where SEP's are being debated.  Again, a quick glance says this case has no SEP's so FRAND isn't applicable.  The FCC has nothing to say in a legal matter that isn't under their purview.  AFAIK, this issue isn't.

    So that would mean there is more than one way to do LTE 4 and G5. Well the FCC regulates the LTE and G5 bands.

    I'm not really sure of the point you're trying to make.  Of course there's more than one way to implement LTE and 5G.  That's not in question.  What Neo is claiming is Apple's implementation violates their 5 patents.  Again, the FCC has nothing to do with the patent litigation in this case.  Whether or not they regulate the bands is irrelevant as it relates to this issue.  Go back and look at almost any patent litigation involving Apple and assertions involving cellular networks/technology.  You will find no FCC involvement in any of it.  You will find FCC involvement in almost no patent litigation, regardless of Apple's involvement.
    muthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 7 of 8
    killroykillroy Posts: 278member
    JFC_PA said:
    And why not the chip maker? Ie Qualcomm?

    And did'nt Apple acquire Intel's modem chip IP? G5 is the X55 Qualcomm chip.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 8
    JFC_PA said:
    And why not the chip maker? Ie Qualcomm?
    Ehhh...not enough money to squeeze Qualcom. Ehehh
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