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Apple, others sued over Bluetooth usage

updated 12:15 pm EDT, Wed March 28, 2007

Apple sued over Bluetooth

Apple and seven other tech companies were added to a lawsuit filed over Bluetooth patents, potentially threatening the company's use of the technology in its products. The Washington Research Foundation -- which filed suit against Matsushita Electric Industrial, Nokia Oyj, and Samsung Electronics in December over Bluetooth technology in a federal court -- has added Apple, Dell, Logitech International, Motorola, Plantronics, Sony, and Toshiba as defendants in the case, according to Bloomberg. The companies are accused of infringing on four patents that describe data exchange between mobile phones, personal computers, and other devices without cables. Apple has built Bluetooth functionality into its Mac OS X operating system, and allows customers to configure Macs with Bluetooth hardware.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I have a patent...

    For transferring files by using a floppy disk and your feet to move files from one computer to the next.

    And this is why attorney's are so dipised. They go around trying to find a way to squeeze people for money.

    Now before I get any hate responses, not all of them are this way. My point is, the public's perception is such that we percieve lawyers to be this way.

  1. jreades

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    How Can You Sue...

    I thought it interesting from the summary that no one mentioned Nokia, Sony Ericcson, etc. Turns out that they're suing everyone who bought chips from a UK-based company (CSR) and not from Broadcom.

    Now the interesting thing to my mind is how you can go ahead and sue 'end users' (in this case manufacturers) for infringement when they weren't party to the original infringement (assuming that there even was any, I see that CSR is counter-suing)? Why aren't Apple and others immune to this suit on the assumption that they purchased the goods in good-faith?

    That would be like saying to purchasers of an Apple laptop "You bought a chipset from Apple that infringed our patent so we're going to sue you as well" surely? Anyone with any insight to where the reponsibility chain ends is asked to enlighten me...

    jon

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    who the heck is WRF?

    Bloomberg article states: "Bluetooth was invented by an Ericsson AB engineer in the 1990s and developed by Ericsson, Intel Corp., International Business Machines Corp. and Nokia, according to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, composed of more than 6,000 companies. Sony Ericsson is a joint venture between Sweden's Ericsson AB and Japan's Sony."

    I don't, however, see what specific "Bluetooth" technology is in question.

    Doesn't matter to me really. Bluetooth isn't something I make use of, and I wouldn't miss it if it went away. It's YAAV (yet another attack vector) to me.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Kind of odd

    how there was no suit before this. It's an industry standard technology now and has been for some time. Were the patent holders just ignorant that Bluetooth was synonymous for what the say they invented?

  1. mmirage

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Not ignorant...

    The alleged patent holders weren't ignorant... they saw the industry jumping all over an emerging standard, thought they could sue, and decided to wait until enough big players and put enough products in the market to make it as big a cash-out as they could. One or two companies with just a few hundred thousand products is nothing compared to a few dozen companies with millions of units when they want to go for damages.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: how can you sue

    I thought it interesting from the summary that no one mentioned Nokia, Sony Ericcson, etc. Turns out that they're suing everyone who bought chips from a UK-based company (CSR) and not from Broadcom.

    Maybe they have an agreement with Broadcom. Or they're going after this fish before the other fish.

    Now the interesting thing to my mind is how you can go ahead and sue 'end users' (in this case manufacturers) for infringement when they weren't party to the original infringement (assuming that there even was any, I see that CSR is counter-suing)? Why aren't Apple and others immune to this suit on the assumption that they purchased the goods in good-faith?

    There's no such thing as 'good-faith' with products. If a company purchases infringing goods and uses it to make a boatload of money on some device/product, wouldn't you want to get a cut of those profits as well?

    That would be like saying to purchasers of an Apple laptop "You bought a chipset from Apple that infringed our patent so we're going to sue you as well" surely? Anyone with any insight to where the reponsibility chain ends is asked to enlighten me...

    That will only work if you used said laptop to make a ton of money (say you were reselling the laptop as part of a bigger product). They're going after those who made money selling their patented technology, not those who just buy it. Apple and Dell are selling laptops with the tech, so they're making money from that.

  1. hokizpokis

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    sue happy world

    if one company owned all the properties inside thier products laywers would sue them crying 'monopoly'

    If one company licenses technologies inside their products from another developer who holds the patent and the patent is found to be disputed from another company then guess what happens

    exp: current trends in bio-science are in essence 'patenting' genetically modified plants and these same corps tend to supply the world with the gm seed, are the laywers going to sue the cows who eat the gm grains next??

    the only way that true market forces will prevail is through justice; and it's crazy what the laywers want and this is just the start of really bad things, better get your Patent on 'air' now before you have to start paying that licensing fee...

  1. Beechlady

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    And the key phrase is???

    LOTS OF MONEY!

    They (the so called inventors) waited until it took off, then decided to whine.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    That

    is how patant suits usually work. People will wait until they see that someone isn't respecting their patent and making enough money to make it worth the legal fees of pursuing it. However, this instance has the people waiting faaaaarrr longer than necessary. The question is, do you make more off the suit and then starting up a license fee or just asking for the license fee initially.

    Personally, I'd advocate notifying the companies sooner and ask them to comply with a licese fee. It makes for much better relations, especially if you're going to be asking for payments over the long run.

    Perhaps that's not in the nature of many in the legal profession?

  1. _Rick_V_

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Sneaker-net

    rvhernandez: Sorry, I already have a patent on your so-called "original" idea of exchanging files, I called it "sneakernet". I'm gonna sue you!!!

    Oh wait, I'm first going to wait until it becomes HUGE and used everywhere, THEN I'm going to sue you and everyone else!

    Sucker.

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