Patent troll Uniloc adds two more lawsuits to growing list of complaints against Apple

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2017
Notorious "patent troll" Uniloc on Friday expanded its legal barrage against Apple with the addition of two lawsuits lodged in Texas, one relating to automatic device wake-up features and another targeting pedometer technology.




As with other recent Uniloc suits, today's complaints were filed in the patent holder friendly Eastern Texas District Court and allege Apple infringement of recently reassigned intellectual property. In the most recent attack, the non-practicing entity leverages two patents invented by noted tech pioneer Philippe Kahn.

The first alleged infringed IP, U.S. Patent No. 8,872,646 for a "Method and system for waking up a device due to motion," was originally filed for in 2008 and later granted to DP Technologies in 2014. The invention discusses techniques of waking a device from sleep mode when accelerometers and other motion sensors determine large degrees of movement.

Apple currently applies similar wake-from-sleep technology in a number of products. For example, Apple Watch automatically activates its screen when a user raises their wrist to check the time. The latest iPhones feature identical technology, in part enabled by Apple's M9 and M10 motion coprocessors.

Uniloc's lawsuits takes issue with any Apple device implementing M9 or M10 coprocessors, as well as any product capable of automatically waking itself based on motion detecting components and supporting software.

In its second suit, the NPE leverages U.S. Patent No. 7,690,556 for "Step counter accounting for incline." The IP covers methods of integrating motion sensors with algorithms designed to account for inclines and other terrain that might impact caloric burn.

Uniloc targets Apple's solution for counting steps, or more specifically flights of stairs, with the '556 patent. Current products like Apple Watch incorporate specialized sensors like barometers to measure relative altitude, while fitness tracking software interprets data generated by said sensors to better represent a user's overall energy expenditure.

The lawsuits filed today add to Uniloc's rapidly growing list of complaints against basic Apple technology. In May, Last month, Apple was slapped with a trio of suits alleging infringement of three separate patents relating to AirPlay, autodialing phone numbers from Contacts and device batteries. Patents in play in those lawsuits originate from HP and 3Com. In April, Uniloc sued Apple over three patents dealing with services like Maps, Apple ID and remote software updates, while an action in 2016 alleges Messages encroaches on four patents.

Widely viewed as an active patent troll in the U.S., Uniloc generates money by leveraging reassigned patents, or vague original IP, against high-profile tech firms. Past lawsuits targeted Activision Blizzard, Aspyr, Electronic Arts, McAfee, Microsoft, Rackspace, Sega, Sony, Symantec and more.

As with past complaints filed against Apple, Uniloc in today's pair of lawsuits seeks unspecified damages, reimbursement of legal fees and other relief deemed fit by the court.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,066member
    seeks unspecified damages, reimbursement of legal fees


    LOL
    jbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 13
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,997member
    Non-practicing entity is more accurate. "Patent troll" is a term only a party with a financial interest might use, since it is an emotionally-loaded and biased one.
    edited June 2017 gatorguy
  • Reply 3 of 13
    Actually, patent troll is more accurate.
    watto_cobramagman1979jbdragoncornchip
  • Reply 4 of 13
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 424member
    This is getting to be too fun.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    These patent trolls are apple haters as well. You never hear them suing Google or Microsoft.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    Cases should be transferred to Delaware.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,997member
    Actually, patent troll is more accurate.
    No, it isn't. "Troll" is a derogatory term, unless we're talking about the mythical variety. A non-practicing entity perfectly describes a company that owns intellectual property and attempts to prove infringement in the pursuit of compensation from the alleged infringer. All of which is perfectly legal and defensible. Apple, Google, or a million different companies or private individuals may also hold patents which they are not currently using themselves, but provide for others to use with licensing agreements.

    Also, as a result of these kinds of lawsuits and judgements remember that Microsoft and Apple (and some additional partners) belong to a patent-sharing group called "Rockstar Consortium". This is just how business is done.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 8 of 13
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,286member
    These patent trolls are apple haters as well. You never hear them suing Google or Microsoft.
    Except right there in the article it says they've sued Microsoft. Unless, you didn't, you know...
    gatorguy
  • Reply 9 of 13
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,251member
    Actually, patent troll is more accurate.
    No, it isn't. "Troll" is a derogatory term, unless we're talking about the mythical variety. A non-practicing entity perfectly describes a company that owns intellectual property and attempts to prove infringement in the pursuit of compensation from the alleged infringer. All of which is perfectly legal and defensible. Apple, Google, or a million different companies or private individuals may also hold patents which they are not currently using themselves, but provide for others to use with licensing agreements.

    Also, as a result of these kinds of lawsuits and judgements remember that Microsoft and Apple (and some additional partners) belong to a patent-sharing group called "Rockstar Consortium". This is just how business is done.

    AI has never been averse to spice the headlines for clicks. But in this case, calling a spade a spade is what it is.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 711member
    Cases should be transferred to Delaware.
    Do you say that because you believe Apple was incorporated in Delaware? If so, that's not correct. Apple was incorporated in California.

    That said, even after the recent Supreme Court ruling in Impression Products v Lexmark patent infringement cases can be brought against Apple in a lot of jurisdictions, including the Eastern District of Texas.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 711member

    These patent trolls are apple haters as well. You never hear them suing Google or Microsoft.
    You may never hear of them if you don't follow, e.g., IP litigation issues fairly closely. But it happens quite often.

    Microsoft, e.g., reported in its last 10-K that it had more than 50 patent infringement cases pending against it. Not all of those would involve what might be referred to as patent trolls, but surely some of them would.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 711member

    Actually, patent troll is more accurate.
    No, it isn't. "Troll" is a derogatory term, unless we're talking about the mythical variety. A non-practicing entity perfectly describes a company that owns intellectual property and attempts to prove infringement in the pursuit of compensation from the alleged infringer. All of which is perfectly legal and defensible. Apple, Google, or a million different companies or private individuals may also hold patents which they are not currently using themselves, but provide for others to use with licensing agreements.

    Also, as a result of these kinds of lawsuits and judgements remember that Microsoft and Apple (and some additional partners) belong to a patent-sharing group called "Rockstar Consortium". This is just how business is done.
    The term patent troll is, as you suggest, typically used to be derogatory. But that doesn't mean that it isn't more accurate than the term non-practicing entity in some cases.

    It's one of those terms that gets used to mean different things. Sometimes people use it as a derogatory synonym for NPE. But other times people use it to mean something more - that there are additional (objectionable) aspects of how the referred-to entity operates, though what those aspects are differ. Some people use it to mean something fairly precise (which isn't completely synonymous with NPE), some people use it as a fairly vague derision.
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