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New lawsuit targets Apple over Smart Cover design

updated 12:25 pm EDT, Fri April 27, 2012

May face uphill fight after Apple patent win

A Colorado resident, Jerald Bovino, has filed a new lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the company's Smart Cover infringes a 2005 patent. Bovino owns patent 6,977,809, which describes a "Portable Computer Case." One similarity between the patent concept and the Smart Cover is a series of visible "rib" lines.

Bovino's patent dates back well before the release of the Smart Cover, but the new lawsuit may face an uphill battle. Beyond the company's financial clout, Apple just won a design patent on the Smart Cover, giving it extra legal ammunition.

Apple is not the only defendant in the case. Also listed is Target, which is one of the many third-party Smart Cover vendors. In both instances, though, Bovino is asking the parties to pay royalties. If the case isn't dismissed, a more likely outcome is a settlement, as most major technology companies prefer to avoid the time and expense of a trial.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This ain't gonna fly

    Business must be bad.

  1. facebook_Dana

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2012



    Our patent system is out of control.

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What a jackass.

    He patented "the rib". He says it protects the item covered.

    iPad cover "ribs" do not protect, but are obvious folding points. Their function is completely different. No infringing here.

    And I'm sure there is prior art for "ribs".

  1. facebook_Pete

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2012



    is a funny guy.. wish him luck winning over the crowd.

  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Looking forward to phase 2

    Looking forward to phase 2 when he next goes after the auto industry over his seatbelt security design.

    Phase 3 will cover item 41, the seatbelt retractor.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Portable Computer Case?

    The iPad isn't a computer - just ask Microsoft, IDC, Gartner, etc.

    I have ribs, too - is he suing me next?

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    yeah... Dismissed!

    This is truly frivolous. There is no "there", there.

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