Apple, iPhone named in broad touch patent lawsuit | iLounge News

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Apple, iPhone named in broad touch patent lawsuit

Apple has been added to a patent infringement lawsuit by Typhoon Touch Technologies, which claims that Apple’s iPhone violated two Typhoon touch-based computing patents. The patents, issued in 1995 and 1997, refer to any touchscreen device capable of collecting information, and are focused on in-field situations such as police stops. Despite this, AppleInsider reports, the patents are so broadly worded that nearly every company manufacturing a touch screen tablet computer or smartphone may have violated some parts of both patents, which are claimed exclusive to a company listed as Nova Mobility. While the complaint originally named only Dell, whose Latitude XT tablet PC was the primary catalyst for the lawsuit, other companies such as Fujitsu, HTC, Lenovo, LG, Nokia, Palm, Panasonic, Samsung, and Toshiba have been added in addition to Apple. Typhoon hopes to be awarded both financial damages and an injunction against the products involved, which would last until the companies agree to pay a “reasonable royalty” every three months.

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Comments

1

Pffft.  good luck with that.

“Hey, I patented this round piece of rubber back in the 20’s so now all tire manufactures owe me royalties for the past 88 years.  Woohooo…I"m rich!”

Has this company been operating from a cave for the past 3-4 years?

Posted by Peterphan on June 24, 2008 at 9:20 AM (PDT)

2

PAtent law is so sketchy. I thought one of the laws requires all patents to have a working prototype as well as detailed specific design specs. What bugs be is people use such broad design specs that it gives no room for people to design around it.

this has to be changed.

copyright and trademark laws have the very same issues.

Posted by Lily on June 24, 2008 at 12:30 PM (PDT)

3

GREED!!!!

Posted by Cliff on June 24, 2008 at 12:37 PM (PDT)

4

Well, Apple patents dumb stuff and sues small companies for frivilous patents…I guess what goes around comes around.

Posted by joe on June 25, 2008 at 1:28 PM (PDT)

5

The objections above make no sense.

Typhoon is attempting to receive a small royalty (typical amount would be no more than 0.5% of revenues on the infringing products) from tech companies that have made billions of dollars on touch screen products, because it patented some of the basic ideas that made those products possible in 1995 and 1997, well before any sophisticated touch screen products hit the mass market. (Palm Pilots, which used primitive touch screen technology, were introduced in 1997, for example.)

PeterPhan compares Typhoon to a patent holder trying to enforce an 88-year-old patent.

Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the US patent system is keenly aware that patents expire after either 17 years from the date of issuance (for older patents) or 20 years from the date of application (for newer patents).

Lily repeats two misconceptions that are unfortunately common: that you must create a working prototype to get a patent and that many patents are so broad that they are almost impossible to invent around.

Prototypes haven’t been required since the 19th century. And thank goodness, because otherwise small inventors (who still get the lion’s share of patents) would be unable to afford to make a living as inventors, to the great detriment of modern society.

As for breadth, truly broad patents are exceedingly rare. I work for a company that creates inventions, and we hardly ever run into a field where there is no point trying to come up with something new and better because someone has already tied up the entire area.

Cliff’s one-word argument is probably correct, but misdirected. Greed is what drives companies like Dell, Apple and others to steal ideas from the smart but small inventors who come up with most of them, and then to hide behind ranks of high-paid corporate law firms to avoid paying ridiculously tiny royalties (again, 0.5% would be a BIG one) to those who helped make their products possible.

Joe implies that Typhoon’s patents are “dumb” and “frivolous.” Have you read the patents? Are you sure that, in 1995, you could have figured out a workable, affordable way to collect information from a touch screen?

Posted by NotSoIgnorant on June 25, 2008 at 10:13 PM (PDT)

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