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Apple, Nokia, RIM among 32 companies sued over IP telephony

updated 10:25 am EDT, Thu March 31, 2011

Search, advertising essential part of complaint

A firm called H-W Technology has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against 32 different high-tech companies, reports say. Targeted corporations include the likes of Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and RIM. H-W's complaint specifically revolves around a single patent awarded in April 2009, dubbed Internet Protocol Phone with Search and Advertising Capability.

Documented in the claim is "a software platform in an Internet Protocol (IP) phone having the ability to be used with different communication infrastructures such as broadband, wireless communication and Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) service." It also "has the ability to be used with different applications," and "perform additional functionality" above conventional phones. H-W primarily concentrates on "searches and advertising, given its [the technology's] ability to converge voice and data within a single terminal."

The company additionally suggests that the patent covers smartphones. Some other businesses listed as defendants include LG, eBay, Hotels.com, Priceline, Expedia, Buy.com, Samsung and Verizon. The case is being handled through a court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, and calls for permanent injunctions against patent violators plus cash damages and an additional penalty for knowingly infringing. More likely though is out-of-court settlements, given the potential expenses of fighting the case.






by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Overly broad?

    I don't understand how a patent can possibly be so all-encompassing as this. Seems like an Agriculture patent must be out there covering use of tools that already exist to prepare the soil, planting known crops, periodic fertilizing and watering, pest control, harvesting, storage, and transport via train, dolly, truck, wheelbarrow, or cloth wrapped bundles balanced on heads. :P

  1. Geoduck

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Not just Overly Broad

    The patent was awarded in April 2009. Smart-phones had been around for something like a decade at that point. This is the poster child for bogus patents. IMO Apple et.al. will push for the patent to be invalidated due to a ton of prior art, and they will win.

    Courts need to start making patent trolls pay for the defendants legal costs.

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Any suit

    filed in N Dallas can automatically be categorized as bogus. You can stop reading at that point in any article.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    wow

    I love the acronym POTS - for Plain Old Telephone System. They must really be geniuses to come up with that one.

    Of course, whoever has the patent on the Plain Old Telephone System might object and file suit themselves.

  1. yticolev

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    POTS

    acronym has been around for at least 15 years in personal memory.

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