Apple sued over iPhone's access to iTunes, camera chips

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple has been targeted twice in lawsuits this week by companies that claim patent infringement in the iPhone, the App Store, and even the chips that power its camera.



The most notable, from Affinity Labs, accuses Apple of violating three patents for sending information wirelessly to a portable device, including for browsing downloading online content such as music or voice mail that could then be copied or streamed to a handheld over a wireless network, including cellular service; they even describe a system that could dock the portable with a boombox or car stereo to carry music over without involving a second wireless link.



Affinity's 7-page suit, filed in a Lufkin Divsion, Eastern District of Texas US court, contends that the iPhone and iPod touch tread on each of the patents by themselves. However, the plaintiff also claims that making music available through iTunes, and software through the related App Store, also unfairly copy its own browsing, downloading and transferring techniques.



Apple was purportedly made aware of the oldest of the patents on its grant date in March 2007, though the two newer patents were granted relatively recently: one in October of last year, and one as late as February 2009. It's not apparent that Apple was made aware of either of these before this week's filing.



An example of online content browsing shared among Affinity's patents.



The second lawsuit is less direct and hopes to find Apple guilty by association. Submitted to a court in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas -- an area notorious for its friendliness to plaintiffs in patent lawsuits -- the complaint from Accolade Systems maintains that Aptina Imaging and Micron are violating a patent for detecting a camera's sensor intensity saturation by producing three CMOS image sensors.



By using at least one of these sensors in the iPhone, Apple is responsible for contributing to the violation of the patent, Accolade says. Notably, an original version of the lawsuit obtained by AppleInsider had mentioned Apple only incidentally and didn't include it as a defendant, revealing that Accolade had originally been content to sue just Aptina and Micron before deciding Apple could be a target as well.



In either of the lawsuits, both of the plaintiffs are less than certain about their goals and simply hope to land injunctions against Apple that stop it from infringing on their patents as well as unspecified damages they hope to determine in their respective jury trials.



As is nearly always the case in legal matters, Apple hasn't commented on either of the lawsuits.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    Here we go with the endless 'patents are broken' comments etc etc...
  • Reply 2 of 32
    I just don't understand how a company can sue on a patent granted 6 years after the product they are saying is infringing debuted???



    iTunes launched in January of 2001 and the iPhone launched in June of 2007 and was announced in January 2007. All before the patents were even granted???
  • Reply 3 of 32
    yvo84yvo84 Posts: 84member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eAi View Post


    Here we go with the endless 'patents are broken' comments etc etc...



    They are
  • Reply 4 of 32
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,222member
    LOL OMG... What's next? Apple gets sued for selling computers.

    This is soo funny!
  • Reply 5 of 32
    what goes around, comes around.

    Apple sues everyone for patents, now they are getting it back... Good!
  • Reply 6 of 32
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,167member
    Wait.. Those guys patented a webpage layout?!! My understanding is that iTunes is a program similar to a browser (actually it is Safari with integrated media player in a way) designed to access specific website (Apple iTunes content). How do you patent a page layout? or worst how do you patent a file download?!!! LOOOOOL
  • Reply 7 of 32
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eAi View Post


    Here we go with the endless 'patents are broken' comments etc etc...



    I stay to stay out of those comments. I agree that they are, but I have no ideas on how to correct it... and I don't think anyone else on these boards do either.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bambuhiphop View Post


    I just don't understand how a company can sue on a patent granted 6 years after the product they are saying is infringing debuted???



    iTunes launched in January of 2001 and the iPhone launched in June of 2007 and was announced in January 2007. All before the patents were even granted???



    I think it goes by the submission date.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by italiankid View Post


    what goes around, comes around.

    Apple sues everyone for patents, now they are getting it back... Good!



    So you think that protecting your patents means you should be subjected to having your IP stolen? Nice logic!





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    Wait.. Those guys patented a webpage layout?!! My understanding is that iTunes is a program similar to a browser designed to access specific website (Apple iTunes content). How do you patent a page layout? or worst how do you patent a file download?!!! LOOOOOL



    I'm thinking that there are many things that predate this patent. I wish we could get some closure on these things! We always read about the beginning but never the resolution.



    Well, it does look like we'll get some juice Psystar stuff later this year. Either Psystar will go under or Apple will start selling OS X retail boxes for $500.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Really. Name a few of these Apple patent suits. Remember, you said everybody so it should be easy for you to give a few examples. I personally can't think of one recent patent suit unless you count Apple counter suing Creative a few years ago. That shouldn't count though, as that was a defensive move in response to Creative suing Apple first.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by italiankid View Post


    what goes around, comes around.

    Apple sues everyone for patents, now they are getting it back... Good!



  • Reply 9 of 32
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,991member
    It's really very simple. All laws pertaining to business were created by lawyers to allow other lawyers to make money. It has nothing to do with justice, fairness, or anything else. It's just about lawyers making money.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    slapppyslapppy Posts: 331member
    These sleezebags smell 30 billion in cash. See the slimeballs come out of the woodwork more often.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


    Really. Name a few of these Apple patent suits. Remember, you said everybody so it should be easy for you to give a few examples. I personally can't think of one recent patent suit unless you count Apple counter suing Creative a few years ago. That shouldn't count though, as that was a defensive move in response to Creative suing Apple first.



    Mr. Italiankid is one of those wretched souls who spends his time on an Apple discussion board endlessly belittling Apple and its users.



    Why anyone would feel compelled to do this I cannot say, but the type seems truly pathological and more than a little pathetic.
  • Reply 12 of 32
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eAi View Post


    Here we go with the endless 'patents are broken' comments etc etc...



    While complaining about it is generally unproductive, but the same is true about complaining about the complaining. As it is, most discussion on most forums is unproductive, that's part of the game.



    Quote:

    - the complaint from Accolade Systems maintains that Aptina Imaging and Micron are violating a patent for detecting a camera's sensor intensity saturation by producing three CMOS image sensors.



    That's confusing at best. It really looks like rubbish to me. Some of those phrases are supposed to mean something, but that sentence, as written, doesn't appear to mean anything in this context. Apple is supposed to be contributing to the violation of patents because they are using someone else's chip, supposedly knowing that those chips violate the patent in question?
  • Reply 13 of 32
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    In a just system Apple should have the right to counter sue all the bringers of these suits for harrassment.



    It seems like a never ending saga over every function of everything Apple and other manufacturers make and do.



    For God's sake I hope we never invent time travel, everything from fire to the wheel will have patents on them!
  • Reply 14 of 32
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    Oh I certainly agree patents are broken, it's just these threads do end up being somewhat predictable. That said, I guess complaining is the only way anything is going to change.



    Well, that or a revolution or something...
  • Reply 15 of 32
    shookstershookster Posts: 113member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    In a just system Apple should have the right to counter sue all the bringers of these suits for harrassment.



    It seems like a never ending saga over every function of everything Apple and other manufacturers make and do.



    For God's sake I hope we never invent time travel, everything from fire to the wheel will have patents on them!



    When you are a successful company, less successful companies want your cash. Simple as that. Eric Schmidt says Google gets sued every day - I imagine it's the same for Apple.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    garbigarbi Posts: 3member
    Aren't we infringing some patent by posting on this forum...?



    I suggest that we all stop posting right now, just in case some lawyer is reading and launches an action suit against us... ;-)
  • Reply 17 of 32
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by italiankid View Post


    what goes around, comes around.

    Apple sues everyone for patents, now they are getting it back... Good!



    Truly meaningless in the grand scheme of things.



    They're after money, not a change to Apple's product. The iPhone will continue forward as the revolutionary product it is, no harm done.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    tawilsontawilson Posts: 484member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    Wait.. Those guys patented a webpage layout?!! My understanding is that iTunes is a program similar to a browser (actually it is Safari with integrated media player in a way) designed to access specific website (Apple iTunes content). How do you patent a page layout? or worst how do you patent a file download?!!! LOOOOOL



    Actually, Apple has always been ready to point out that iTunes does NOT make use of WebKit for its rendering of the iTunes Store content.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    AI should at least post links to the patents concerned so that we can see what the patents actually claim, and when they were filed etc
  • Reply 20 of 32
    nceencee Posts: 857member
    Or



    - I sued Apple ? and won

    - I sued Apple ? and lost

    - I sued Apple ? just 'cuz



    - I'm suing Apple because ?

    - I'm suing Apple because ? I need the money

    - I'm suing Apple because ? I found a sleeze bag lawyer

    - I'm suing Apple because ? they are doing it better then me

    - I'm suing Apple because ? damn it, they have way to much money!

    - I'm suing Apple because ? if I don't, somebody else will



    Skip
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