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NovelPoint sues Apple, most of industry in patent cash grab

updated 10:25 am EDT, Mon March 12, 2012

NovelPoint tries to sue most PC builders

An unusually ambitious patent lawsuit filed late last week, and published Monday, is hoping to profit from the rest of the industry's work. Largely unknown NovelPoint Security LLC has sued 35 mostly major companies over two patents for a "method for limiting computer access to peripheral devices" and a "network security system allowing access" based on master tokens. The sweeping nature of the patent includes virtually every major PC and electronics builder, including Acer, Apple, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba.

Other broader technology firms like General Dynamics, Motion Computing, and Motorola Solutions are also targets.

NovelPoint is relatively transparent in its motives and doesn't make any call for a ban, instead simply asking for the court to provide financial rewards in damages. Each of the lawsuits was filed separately, likely in an attempt to minimize the impact of losing against any one company.

Such lawsuits are common and closely fit the definition of a patent troll, or a company that relies on patent royalties and lawsuits for business instead of meaningful products. Apart from having virtually no existence outside of the lawsuit, it's both filing the case in and operating out of the Eastern District of Texas court area, a zone known to be more sympathetic to plaintiffs in patent lawsuits.

The new case is notable primarily for its scale. Many firms of the kind will try to target major companies, knowing that even a very small royalty could improve their welfare, but they seldom sue as many companies.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    With Android 4 - the fall of Apple from the top co

    The latest iOS cannot hold a candle to Android 4.
    It makes a very smooth transition from the mobile screen to the larger tablet,
    and Droid 5 will be even smoother.

    When you have over 70% of the market, unless you diversify (like Autodesk did) you can only go down.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Thank you, Arne - I wasn't expecting to have such a good laugh today.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPeople should be glad when Apples slows down...

    your iShinny will once again be the forbidden fruit nobody but a very chosen few posses...

    it's inevitable
    -without Steve,
    Apple is just another large company in love with your money...

  1. thnikkaman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just so I can say something on topic...

    I dunno how on earth this post got so derailed (I admit I'm partly to blame for feeding the troll), but to say something on topic:

    Another day, another East Texas patent troll lawsuit, and one so vague that I feel it should be dismissed with prejudice. Who the heck gives these shell companies such frivolous patents? It's almost like our reviewers are asleep on the job and rubber-stamping everything that comes through their desk.

    This country needs patent reform, bad. Also, the East Texas court needs to be shuttered or fresh-started with anti-patent troll staff.

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