Patent suit targets Apple, US cellphone and computer makers

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A Delaware firm named AutoText Technologies claims that Apple and virtually all of the US electronics industry is infringing on a patent for the concept of a computer-based transcription device.



The 32-page suit-- most of whose length is devoted to repeating the claims against each of the defendants -- was filed in the Eastern Division of the Northern District of Ohio. It alleges that any device made in the US with a display and keyboard, storage for vocabulary, and a way of sorting keywords by order of frequency violate the AutoText patent, which was granted in 1994.



Accordingly, the company names a full 23 firms, most of which are some of the largest players in the American electronics business. Apple is named for reportedly violating the patent by producing Mac OS X Tiger, the Safari web browser, and related products. The Mac maker is not singled out from the rest of the group, however.



Besides Apple, the complaint names rival computer makers HP and IBM. Nearly all companies involved in the US cellular industry are also named, such as handset producers HTC, Motorola and Palm, Microsoft and its Windows Mobile 6 operating system, and carriers like AT&T, Helio, and Verizon.



Even console manufacturers Nintendo and Sony are at fault for their Wii and PlayStation 3 systems, the lawsuit purports.



As handled by the law firm Garson & Associates, the suit demands a jury trial and a minimum of a royalty from each company found at fault, with damages also requested as additional compensation.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    I used a word-processor that had partial-word completion and auto-prioritisation back in '88 '89, so there's definite prior art to this patent. I've probably even got the 5.25" floppy with the shareware on it stashed away somewhere. Was made by Black Magic Software I think.
  • Reply 2 of 22
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    Let me guess, this was filed in Texas.



    Why would HP be named since they just make the hardware for either Windows or Linux?
  • Reply 3 of 22
    I'm sick and tired of reading about all of these stupid lawsuits by one unknown company against every large company in the world. It's really getting ridiculous. Appleinsider says that the suit is against Tiger and Apple products.. So OS 7-10.3 and 10.5 aren't included?? Seriously, come the F* on. Personally, If I was the judge, with how many people they are suing, I would throw the case out and tell them "Nice Try" because it has taken this company how long to finally realize that something that they *might* have a patent to might be infringed upon? I'd look at the patent as, If it was so important to you and your company, you would have filed a long time ago when you discovered it. You didn't just happen to accidently stumble upon this and realize that a patent might be infringed upon. These technologies have been known about for years and if t took you that long to realize it, too bad.



    I would equate most of these suits to the Southwestern Bell phone company lawsuit, where it was discovered that the blue bell that the company used as their logo wasn't patented. So this guy went out, patented the logo, then sued Southwestern Bell for patent infringement, AND WON? How?



    A lot of these suits are crap and unfair, and if judges rule in favor of people like this, it will be a sad day. Everyone will patent everything. You will have Joe Blow patent the ability to pass gas and every time you do, you owe him a nickel... Come on...
  • Reply 4 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... for the concept of a computer-based transcription device.



    My father, in the early '70 had some IBM type writing machines that were doing the same thing.

    Some time later it was christianized as "Type-ahead functionality".

    On late '80 there was (and still it is) a DB Application called "ProVue Panorama" able to do better the same thing.



    /Gio



    Note about my new patent: with a fee of 1ç each person, I'll collect about 10mio in US, Canada and Mexico! A great deal!
  • Reply 5 of 22
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    It's been like 6 hours since a suit like this has been filed.



    I was beginning to get worried that the world may be coming to an end.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    thrangthrang Posts: 765member
    like Apple has been sued every month for the past two years...but we tend to hear mostly about the filing, never any outcome - are they all wallowing for years, are they settled, thrown out? Just curious how all these claims are ultimately disposed of



    I suppose Apple's annual report would highlight all major suits and their status...



    Is there a web site that lists all outstanding suits against corporations?
  • Reply 7 of 22
    The patent should be looked at based on the title of the patent for use: "The invention is in the field of computer assisted transcription apparatus or word processing systems. ". Sounds to me they target the patent and idea more for court room and doctor notes transcription than entering words on sms and a web browser. When I hear Transcription I think more of listening to words and typing them.
  • Reply 8 of 22
    I wish Appleinsider did not waste everybodies time like this.

    If Apple is being sued, along with MicroSoft, HP, IBM, Dell, Verizon, T-Mobile, Google, and just about anyone else in the industry...... I don't think it's an "Inside Apple" thing much less anything we need to REMOTELY look at.



    At least don't lead off with a title that implies Apple is being sued with a few other companies being named. A title like "The entire computer industry is being sued" would be sufficient for me.



    Of course, if you can't flame the fires, can you get interest in this site or be quoted?

    Wish that was NOT what THIS is about, but sadly trying to be quoted is a way to get noticed.

    (even if you're fanning and feeding every other FUD site on the net)
  • Reply 9 of 22
    No, actually the article says Ohio this time.



    I think what happens is there are obscure companies who are looking to make a quick buck, so they buy out these patents and try for a lawsuit. Its just a hunch, I could be wrong. If anyone has better info, I am definately all ears!



    BTW, I am from and currently reside in Texas, and I have no idea why in the world so many frivolous patent suits are coming out of my state. This, I would expect out of California, but unfortunately, as far as the patent suits go, I guess they are all filed in Texas. It's depressing.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kresh View Post


    Let me guess, this was filed in Texas.



    Why would HP be named since they just make the hardware for either Windows or Linux?



  • Reply 10 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by timothyjay2004 View Post


    A lot of these suits are crap and unfair, and if judges rule in favor of people like this, it will be a sad day. Everyone will patent everything. You will have Joe Blow patent the ability to pass gas and every time you do, you owe him a nickel... Come on...



    You can't use Joe Blow! Thats copyright infringement! Just to be safe, you should use John Q. Public.



    I can just see the plaintiffs at their business "Hmm.. Funds are running sort of low, Joe." "Yeah John, I wonder if we have any old Patents laying around we could use to sue and make some quick cash" "Hey here's one! It doesn't really pertain to modern computing, but the jury can decide that!"





    Ah the American dream. To be a middle or lower class man/woman, have something happen to where you can sue, and live like a king!



    Who needs the lottery?
  • Reply 11 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ericblr View Post


    No, actually the article says Ohio this time.



    I think what happens is there are obscure companies who are looking to make a quick buck, so they buy out these patents and try for a lawsuit. Its just a hunch, I could be wrong. If anyone has better info, I am definately all ears!



    BTW, I am from and currently reside in Texas, and I have no idea why in the world so many frivolous patent suits are coming out of my state. This, I would expect out of California, but unfortunately, as far as the patent suits go, I guess they are all filed in Texas. It's depressing.





    Might it be possible that there are more lawsuits won in Texas, so people think its a lucky lawsuit state?
  • Reply 12 of 22
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ericblr View Post


    BTW, I am from and currently reside in Texas, and I have no idea why in the world so many frivolous patent suits are coming out of my state. This, I would expect out of California, but unfortunately, as far as the patent suits go, I guess they are all filed in Texas. It's depressing.



    Denial.



    Projection.



    Depression.
  • Reply 13 of 22
    smeesmee Posts: 195member
    All these lawsuits being filed are getting more retarded every time.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    It seems Texas has a rogue judge in Marshall. That according to an article about the MP3 suit that was filed, seems to be the favorite court for these patent suits. I don't want to let one judge or one court, or hell, even one small little town ruin Texas' entire image. Just like I wouldn't let San Francisco, or LA ruin California's image;-) joking...



    link to article



    http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/...awsuits_1.html



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by smee View Post


    All these lawsuits being filed are getting more retarded every time.



  • Reply 15 of 22
    There's so many of these patent troll lawsuits they're not individually newsworthy, but the number of them is noteworthy because consumers are basically being taxed for the legal costs of companies that must defend themselves in the government's broken patent system.



    I too am tired of these stories. Wake me if a case actually goes to trial.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    predictive text and autofill has been around for a very very long time



    Just because something accomplishes the same task does not mean it violates an existing patent. If it uses a different method to accomplish the end result, there is no violation.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kresh View Post


    Let me guess, this was filed in Texas.



    Why would HP be named since they just make the hardware for either Windows or Linux?



    they make handhelds too and not all of them run Windows CE
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post


    I wish Appleinsider did not waste everybodies time like this.

    If Apple is being sued, along with MicroSoft, HP, IBM, Dell, Verizon, T-Mobile, Google, and just about anyone else in the industry...... I don't think it's an "Inside Apple" thing much less anything we need to REMOTELY look at.



    At least don't lead off with a title that implies Apple is being sued with a few other companies being named. A title like "The entire computer industry is being sued" would be sufficient for me.



    Of course, if you can't flame the fires, can you get interest in this site or be quoted?

    Wish that was NOT what THIS is about, but sadly trying to be quoted is a way to get noticed.

    (even if you're fanning and feeding every other FUD site on the net)



    Hear Hear!
  • Reply 19 of 22
    johnqhjohnqh Posts: 242member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jamesarm97 View Post


    The patent should be looked at based on the title of the patent for use: "The invention is in the field of computer assisted transcription apparatus or word processing systems. ". Sounds to me they target the patent and idea more for court room and doctor notes transcription than entering words on sms and a web browser. When I hear Transcription I think more of listening to words and typing them.



    Have you ever filed a patent?



    Those filings look like foreign language, even to the inventors. Thank that to the American legal system.



    On the other hand, I don't know if this is better in other countries.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    johnqhjohnqh Posts: 242member
    In hindsight, everything's obvious.



    As one post said, predictive word completion has been available for years. However, this patent is particular on sorting based on usage, and display them by the ranking order so user can pick.



    Although the patent was approved in 94, it was filed in 1990. That means, we have to rewind our minds back to 1990 to see whether there were prior arts and whether the patent was obvious.



    What was available in 1990? Well.....we have System 6 (System 7 was released in 1991), Windows 3.0, Mac II's (Mac Classic was introduced in 1991).



    It is difficult to say whether the patent would have been obvious in 1990. If someone can prove that spell checker software in 1990 orders suggestions based on usage, that would have been an argument that this is obvious. However, my memory doesn't go back 17 years.



    On the other hand, if this technology wasn't used until 15 years later (Tiger, WM6, I am not sure when T9 was written), it would be VERY STRONG argument that this is a valid patent. You can even argue that it is ahead of its time.
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