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.