updated 05:20 pm EST, Mon November 24, 2008
iPhone patent infringement
Apple is involved in yet another patent infringement lawsuit targeted at the iPhone. The plaintiff, EMG Technology, accuses the the company of violating a patent that relates to Internet navigation and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). The claim involves the presentation of content changed from HTML to XML format, a technology utilized by the iPhone. The patent also allegedly covers technology for manipulating regions of a screen, including zoom and scroll functions that the iPhone uses.
EMG has chosen the lawfirm Jeffer, Mangels, Butler and Marmaro (JMBM) to handle the legal action, including the initial filing in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. The particular Texas court has become known for patent cases, with many plaintiffs expecting a favorable outcome from the local juries. The Tyler Division has seen 14 filings in November, with several hundred so far in 2008.
JMBM is not a stranger in the world of patent infringement suits. Stanley Gibson, an IP expert and attorney for the company, successfully lead a case against Medtronic that resulted in a $570 million verdict for his clients. The doctor behind the patent, Gary Michelson M.D., received a $1.35 billion payment for the intellectual property dispute and acquisition.
Apple has been involved in similar suits, including one filed by Minerva in January that claimed infringement of a patent that described a "mobile entertainment and communication device in a palm-held size housing." A Florida company in 2007 claimed that the iPhone used its patented touch-screen technology, in another case that was presented in the Tyler court.
The current case with EMG Technology is in the very beginning stages of legal action. Although the law firm has submitted the first paperwork, it is still unknown how far the proceedings will actually go, as many patent suits are dismissed before presentation to a jury.