updated 01:05 pm EDT, Tue May 4, 2010
Entire device design allegedly violates patent
Virtually the entire design of the iPhone infringes on a patent held by NetAirus Technologies, a new lawsuit alleges. The California company accuses Apple of violating a patent titled Wireless Handset Communication System, which describes "small light weight modular microcomputer based computer and communications systems, designed for both portability and desktop uses." These include "one or more telephone-like handsets and/or earset[s]," capable of supporting voice, text and video.
One possible area of discrepancy is a reference to configuring systems "in a portable arrangement similar to conventional notebook computers," which can also be "quickly and easily disassembled and re-assembled for office desktop uses." The lawsuit is being handled through the court for the Central District of California Western Division, and could theoretically result in damage payments, as well as a block on the sale of all models of the iPhone. In practice, however, the case is likely to be dismissed or reach a settlement, as with most such allegations.