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Apple sued over iPhone touch-screen kybd

updated 11:40 am EDT, Sat August 4, 2007

Apple sued over iPhone

Apple this week was sued by a Florida company over a patent it claims is used in the iPhone's touch-screen display. Apple was notified that the iPhone allegedly infringes on a patent issued in 2004 to SP Technologies LLC, which is based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The patent describes a "method and medium for computer readable keyboard display incapable of user termination." The company is calling for Apple to pay "reasonable royalties" for each iPhone already sold and is also seeking a permanent injunction against Apple to prevent the use of its intellectual property in Apple's mobile device. The company also alleges "willful and deliberate" infringement of the patent, which it claims the Cupertino-based company used illegally for the iPhone's keyboard, according to the complaint.

The complaint was filed on August 2nd in a federal court in Tyler, Texas-- a district considered sympathetic to plaintiffs in patent infringement cases. Apple, the complaint argues, conducts business in the area by selling the iPhone in local stores.

If Apple is found guilty of "willful and deliberate" patent infringement, it could be forced to pay punitive damages equal to three times the economic loss that the plaintiff suffered.

Over the past year, Apple has filed dozens of patents related to its iPhone and the embedded touch-screen and gesture technology.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. coldfusion1970

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    another lawsuit

    I can only hope and pray Apple can get this patent dispute dismissed. I desperately want to see the iPhone get released in the UK.

  1. HombrePhaty

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    hilarious!!

    This is good stuff. Very funny.

    It is also the kind of stuff that doesn't matter and that I am making it matter (by posting) says something about me--and all Apple loyalists. We probably should just use the products--or not--and go on with real living.

    As a side note, I am claiming to be the first to break wind while using an iPhone and will expect "reasonable royalties" from each person who does so hereafter... otherwise you're just engaging in "willful and deliberate" copying.

  1. appleisgreat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Interesting

    When Apple has a hit product, all of these other companies come crawling out of the woodwork to sue. If they have the patent already, where is the product that benefits from the patent?

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    This is the state of pat

    This is the awful state of patents. Companies can hold patents with no proof of products and sit on them and as soon as another company comes along with a hit product, they sue. I don't know about this particular company and if they have a leg to stand on because Steve Jobs said he patented the h*** out of the iPhone to protect it. So this will be a hard fight for that other company to win.

  1. cooner

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Patents

    "method and medium for computer readable keyboard display incapable of user termination."

    Whut? Oh, right.

    I'm going to file a patent for "a mechanical or electronic device that does something useful for the user in some way." Then I'll just wait for Apple or some other company to release something useful that turns out to be a hit. Gold mine!

  1. TheBum

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    you gotta admit

    These patent squatting companies are shrewd. By not actually producing a product, they can't be sued for patent infringement, which puts them in a very low risk position. I would really like to see civil law system changed such that if a lawsuit is determined to be frivilous, the plaintiff must pay the defendant the amount the plaintiff was seeking. That would put a stop to this c***.

  1. Bruck

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    new patent laws

    New recent laws about patent disputes will destroy this lawsuit. Recently they ruled that if a technology can be figured out using ideas like pieces of a simple puzzle then its not a new and inventive idea and thus not issued a patent. Apple will probably argue that the onscreen keyboard was obvious and thus is a dumb patent.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    patent patemt lawsuits

    I'm filing for a patent on patent lawsuits, whereby, anyone, any entity, or group may file suit for patent infringement as their only foreseeable way to make money from their patent, even of that was - either in whole, or in part - their intent when they filed for said patent.

    I should be filthy stinking rich in no time.

    All fun aside though. if I own a patent but have been frozen out of producing a product through industry shenanigans, or my own stupidity, it doesn't matter whether I have a product to show for my patent.

    It's a very fine line between protecting the patent holders rights, and allowing the unscrupulous to spawn camp.

  1. deVilliers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    loser pays

    As in the UK - in every case, where the loser in the High Court must pay the costs of the winner.

    You wrote: you gotta admit These patent squatting companies are shrewd. By not actually producing a product, they can't be sued for patent infringement, which puts them in a very low risk position. I would really like to see civil law system changed such that if a lawsuit is determined to be frivilous, the plaintiff must pay the defendant the amount the plaintiff was seeking. That would put a stop to this c***.

  1. King Bob On The Cob

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Uhhh... Prior Art?

    Apple's had a software based keyboard that works with touchscreens since at least the OS 9 Era. Key Caps was a godsend.

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