Apple's Secure Enclave targeted in patent infringement lawsuit

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 5
Non-practicing entity Identity Security on Monday filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming the tech giant's Secure Enclave technology, present in nearly every major Apple product line, infringes on four owned patents.

Touch ID and Face ID


Lodged with the patent holder-friendly U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Identity Security's suit takes issue with Apple's Secure Enclave, an on-device technology that protects sensitive user data by isolating it in a dedicated subsystem. The system is integrated into Apple's system-on-chip designs currently deployed in iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, Apple TV and HomePod.

Identity Security claims Apple's implementation of a secure enclave in its various hardware solutions infringes on U.S. Patent Nos. 7,493,497, 8,020,008, 8,489,895 and 9,507,948, each of which details methods of improving user security by creating a digital identity that resides on a unique microprocessor device. Password and biometric protection are also mentioned in the intellectual property, as is encryption and the possibility of integrating such solutions with digital payments.

The IP owned by Identity Security lists use cases as including secure storage and communication of a user's name, digital picture, address, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, digital photograph, biometric information, credit card information, bank account information, incorporation name, date and place of incorporation, name of a corporate officer, corporate partner, and a database administrator name. Patent claims in part detail implementations for corporations, not necessarily consumers.

All four patents list Aureliano Tan, Jr. as their inventor and were initially assigned to Integrated Information Solutions in applications dating back to 2000.

Apple's Secure Enclave debuted in 2013 with iPhone 5S as a way to safely store a user's fingerprint data. That year also saw the introduction of Apple's first biometric authentication apparatus -- Touch ID.

As later detailed by Apple in a technology white paper, the Secure Enclave is a coprocessor built into the company's SoC designs. The component requires its own boot sequence and software update mechanism and is responsible for "all cryptographic operations for Data Protection key management and maintains the integrity of Data Protection even if the kernel has been compromised."

Starting with the A11 and S4 processors, Secure Enclave now includes a "memory-protected engine and encrypted memory with anti-replay capabilities, secure boot, a dedicated random number generator, and its own AES engine," according to Apple. Its processor runs a customized version of the L4 microkernel.

Identity Security does not make note of real world applications of its four owned patents, suggesting the technology was never licensed.

The suit seeks damages, court fees, and an ongoing royalty.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    pigybankpigybank Posts: 178member
    Another day another patent troll. 
    llama
  • Reply 2 of 12
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,486member
    Did a quick search for "Integrated Information Solutions" and found several companies with that name worldwide. I guess Tan forgot to trademark it along with forgetting to actually license his "ideas" with anyone. The USPTO has to stop patenting general ideas that never come to fruition.

    Interesting sidebar. "fruition" comes from the word fruit (state or action of producing fruit). Kind of makes sense when talking about patents.
    killroymuthuk_vanalingamlongpathdewme
  • Reply 3 of 12
    swat671swat671 Posts: 66member
    rob53 said:
    Did a quick search for "Integrated Information Solutions" and found several companies with that name worldwide. I guess Tan forgot to trademark it along with forgetting to actually license his "ideas" with anyone. The USPTO has to stop patenting general ideas that never come to fruition.

    Interesting sidebar. "fruition" comes from the word fruit (state or action of producing fruit). Kind of makes sense when talking about patents.
    Patents are for ideas, not implementation. 
    llama
  • Reply 4 of 12
    swat671swat671 Posts: 66member
    My question is, why did it take them almost 8 years to sue? Shouldn't they of sued back in 2013 or 14? There should be a requirement that lawsuits of this type have to be brought with a certain amount of time- say, 5 years or something. 
    killroymuthuk_vanalingamlongpathllama
  • Reply 5 of 12
    j2fusionj2fusion Posts: 101member
    swat671 said:
    My question is, why did it take them almost 8 years to sue? Shouldn't they of sued back in 2013 or 14? There should be a requirement that lawsuits of this type have to be brought with a certain amount of time- say, 5 years or something. 
    Agreed…. By not having a statute of limitations these companies win either way. If their “patented” idea doesn’t sell, then they don’t have to waste time or money with suits. If they wait, the market can grow and grow potentially providing a huge payout if they’re successful. 
    killroymuthuk_vanalingamllama
  • Reply 6 of 12
    stompystompy Posts: 358member
    swat671 said:
    rob53 said:
    Did a quick search for "Integrated Information Solutions" and found several companies with that name worldwide. I guess Tan forgot to trademark it along with forgetting to actually license his "ideas" with anyone. The USPTO has to stop patenting general ideas that never come to fruition.

    Interesting sidebar. "fruition" comes from the word fruit (state or action of producing fruit). Kind of makes sense when talking about patents.
    Patents are for ideas, not implementation. 
    U.S. law is not supposed to allow one to patent an idea. You can patent a process, machine, manufacture or composition.
    tokyojimukillroylongpathgatorguyllamanadriel
  • Reply 7 of 12
    GabyGaby Posts: 163member
    To really cut down on these infringement cases by PAE/NPE’s, I think the law should be changed so that a statute of limitation requires a company to file a notice of suspected infringement with the offending party within 12 months of the release of the infringing product or feature, and a maximum of 3 years total from shipping date with which to begin a lawsuit. These non practicing entities leave it as long as possible so that the products/features sell in vast quantities and or are adopted by multiple product lines - particularly where Apple et al. are involved. Anyone has a right to protect their IP, but suing for profit absolutely should not be permitted to be a commercial practice in and of itself.  You should also have to prove that you are currently or intend to develop a shipping product in order to be able to assert claims in court. I think that’s the only realistic way of getting this issue under control. 

    Edit: Apologies @swat671, your comment hadn’t appeared when I started writing mine. 
    edited May 3 baconstangkillroymuthuk_vanalingamllama
  • Reply 8 of 12
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 896member
    j2fusion said:
    swat671 said:
    My question is, why did it take them almost 8 years to sue? Shouldn't they of sued back in 2013 or 14? There should be a requirement that lawsuits of this type have to be brought with a certain amount of time- say, 5 years or something. 
    Agreed…. By not having a statute of limitations these companies win either way. If their “patented” idea doesn’t sell, then they don’t have to waste time or money with suits. If they wait, the market can grow and grow potentially providing a huge payout if they’re successful. 
    Exactly. If you think Katy Perry stole one of your songs, you don't call her out the day the album comes out. You wait until the album goes platinum, and then sue her.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 12
    killroykillroy Posts: 84member
    I would say as a juror If you let Apple do this for that long, you have given Apple a de facto license. And can not sue.
    The first time finger print reading and face time and the T1 or T2 chip came out that's when you sue.


    edited May 3 longpath
  • Reply 10 of 12
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 877member
    The law will never change. It benefits too many non-producing companies with very deep pockets. 
  • Reply 11 of 12
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,486member
    mac_dog said:
    The law will never change. It benefits too many non-producing companies with very deep pockets. 
    It also benefits lawyers, judges, and all others who feel it's their right to make a quick buck while not doing anything of value. Apple designed and manufactured a product then sold it. That's what the USPTO is supposed to protect. If you come up with an idea, create a proof on concept (something we can see how it works), then at least attempt to market it I would feel better with it having a patent. But it needs to be something special and specific, not something any first grader can think of. It can't be so general that it locks out an entire industry. More than one person can come up with the same idea around the same time. Something truly unique is very difficult to create but lawyers feel this happens all the time so they are willing participants in lawsuits. I'd like to see a new three-strikes law for lawyers. On the third frivolous lawsuit they get disbarred. Maybe that will slow them down a bit. The same with judges who think they are technical experts in electronics.
    dewme
  • Reply 12 of 12
    david808david808 Posts: 10member
    So....they patented a technological lock box? Sounds like Al Gore should sue them. 
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