New patent lawsuit targets Apple over iPhone 5's call forwarding feature

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple is the target of yet another patent lawsuit, as a Texas-based telecommunications firm is suing the iPhone maker over the call forwarding feature built into the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.

patents


Bluebonnet Telecommunications filed suit against Apple on Tuesday, claiming that the Cupertino company infringed on U.S. Patent No. 5,485,511, which covers a "method and apparatus for determining the telephony features assigned to a telephone." Bluebonnet has held the 511 patent since June of 1996, and the company alleges that "Apple ... offered for sale products and/or systems (including at least the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5) that infringed one or more claims of the 511 patent."

The suit further holds that Apple "induces end-user customers" to use the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 in a way that infringes the 511 patent. The company, Bluebonnet holds, does so by explaining the devices' features and touting said features.

In the 511 patent ? which used to belong to Siemens Rolm Communications ? a telephone communicates with a central switch to generate a list of assigned telephony features. A device can then display those features to a user in order to demonstrate which features are available to the user at the time.

Bluebonnet's suit claims that Apple's call forwarding feature infringes on this patent. While the suit does not go into detail regarding the manner in which the features violate the patent, it does state that "the accused features that allow call forwarding have no practical use other than uses that infringe the 511 patent."

Bluebonnet is seeking a permanent injunction enjoining Apple from infringing the 511 patent, along with financial damages resulting from the infringement. The company is also requesting pre-judgment and post-judgment interest on "the damage caused by Apple's infringing activities and other conduct."

The case ? Civil Action No. 2:13-cv-00513 ? was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. No judge has yet been assigned.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    You spelled iPhone wrong (iPohne)
  • Reply 2 of 36



    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }
    so now call forwarding is a patent, c'mon droid users complain about Apple suing them....this is getting ridiculous. Hey, somebody sucked in Oxygen, I have a Patent on "Lung expansion and contraction of sole purpose to collect air in which to live".


     

  • Reply 3 of 36
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,702member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by planetrocke View Post



    You spelled iPhone wrong (iPohne)


    Does AI use Macs? If so this very obvious typo would have been made even more obvious by the presence of a dotted red line. Or perhaps it is just their CMS which, like the horrible forum software and IOS software breaks basic Mac and IOS functionality. :(

  • Reply 4 of 36
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member


    Does anyone know if of all the patents Apple was granted for the iPhone, if their version of call forwarding was  patented?


     


    That way Apple can go back to Bluebonnet and say copy you?  Nah-Ahh!


    /


    /


    Guess everything doesn't taste better with Bluebonnet on it!  Wonder when the butter people will sue the computer people?


    /


    /

  • Reply 5 of 36
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,227member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by greenapple3317 View Post



    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }
    so now call forwarding is a patent, c'mon droid users complain about Apple suing them....this is getting ridiculous. Hey, somebody sucked in Oxygen, I have a Patent on "Lung expansion and contraction of sole purpose to collect air in which to live".


     



     


    Yet another patent troll company.  The patent system is so screwed up. When you have companies trading patents in order to sued someone at some point, its just plain broken.

  • Reply 6 of 36


    I want an iPohne

     

  • Reply 7 of 36
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    so now call forwarding is a patent...

    Nope, try again.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member


    This lawsuit is meritless. Apple doesn't sell a product called teh iPohne.

  • Reply 9 of 36

    Quote:


    a telephone communicates with a central switch to generate a list of assigned telephony features. A device can then display those features to a user in order to demonstrate which features are available to the user at the time.

     




    So they haven't patented the concept of call forwarding, they've patented the ability of the phone to let the user know that it's able to forward calls? How exactly is this a novel idea?

  • Reply 10 of 36
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    I'm failing to understand what the iPhone has got to do with this patent. I presume they mean iOS tailored for the iPhone, but why don't they say that?
    paxman wrote: »
    Does AI use Macs? If so this very obvious typo would have been made even more obvious by the presence of a dotted red line. Or perhaps it is just their CMS which, like the horrible forum software and IOS software breaks basic Mac and IOS functionality. :(

    I get that red line when I type iOS incorrectly, but perhaps I'm typing it wrong¿
  • Reply 11 of 36


    Not so.


     


    You'd be surprised at the number of 'ghost' companies that Apple and Google have that are buying up patents. As for patents harming Apple's business - we'll their financials would say otherwise. And lets NOT forget that Microsoft earns more from it's Android patents than it does Windows Phone sales.


     


    Patents are just another business tool employed by businesses. 

  • Reply 12 of 36
    sidstesidste Posts: 25member


    iPohne?  maybe someone already trademarked iPony.

  • Reply 13 of 36
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    This lawsuit is meritless. Apple doesn't sell a product called teh iPohne.



    That's what Apple calls the iPhone in Texas - so the average Texan can understand the name.

  • Reply 14 of 36
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sidste View Post


    iPohne?  maybe someone already trademarked iPony.



     


    My Little iPony.

  • Reply 15 of 36
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member


    I thought call forwarding was done at a network level, not by the handset.

  • Reply 16 of 36
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,917member
    Not so.

    You'd be surprised at the number of 'ghost' companies that Apple and Google have that are buying up patents. As for patents harming Apple's business - we'll their financials would say otherwise. And lets NOT forget that Microsoft earns more from it's Android patents than it does Windows Phone sales.

    Patents are just another business tool employed by businesses. 

    Yes but both actually make products/services that might use the patents. Besides, it's one way to protect themselves from patent trolls.
  • Reply 17 of 36
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,585member
    What forwarding feature? Don't recall seeing that.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    thebumthebum Posts: 58member
    Sounds like they waited until the last possible moment to file it too. I don't know what the lifespan of a patent is now, but June 1996 to June 2013 is 17 years, which is what the lifespan used to be.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    sambirasambira Posts: 90member


    AT&T was doing this long before this patent and I'd be surprised if there isn't an AT&T patent already that superseded this.   Siemens surely didn't invent this.  That I know for sure.

  • Reply 20 of 36
    jax44jax44 Posts: 79member
    Ah, the venerable Eastern District of Texas patent troll court. What a way for a town to make a living!.
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