updated 09:30 am EDT, Thu August 18, 2011
Software Restore Solutions claims Apple copying
Software Restore Solutions late Wednesday sued Apple (below) over claims Mac OS X copied its technology. According to the complaint, "at least" the Disk Utility feature in every version of Mac OS X from the 2001 original through to Snow Leopard copies one claim in a workgroup network manager patent from 1998. Apple supposedly knows the automated repair features could infringe on the patent but has shown "deliberate indifference" towards the consequences.
Despite the claims of possible awareness, it's not clear that SRS told Apple of the possible violations before filing the lawsuit. The claim, based out of a Northern District of Illinois court near SRS' home in Skokie, does seek the tripled damages for cases of knowing infringement.
SRS doesn't fit the traditional definition of a patent troll as it's filing based on its own location rather than a court likely to rule in its favor. Regardless, its history online shows primarily lawsuits, including a previous suit that also targeted Apple along with game developers like Blizzard, Sega, and THQ. The company itself doesn't have a website and, as a limited liability company (LLC) may exist solely for the purposes of collecting royalties from or suing other companies.
None of the involved sides have commented on the lawsuit. Apple typically doesn't discuss smaller lawsuits.