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Apple sued over iPhone eBook promotion

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, March 24, 2009
News Categories: iPhone

A new lawsuit has been filed against Apple for promoting the iPhone as a touchscreen book reader. MONEC Holding Ltd of Switzerland has filed a seven-page complaint in a Virginia district court, accusing Apple of patent infringement, unfair trade practices, monopolization, and tortious interference, relating to MONEC’s 2002 patent titled “Electronic device, preferably an electronic book.” The patent describes an electronic device with a touchscreen LCD display, having the “dimensions such that [...] approximately one page of a book can be illustrated at normal size, this display being integrated in a flat, frame-like housing.” MONEC argues that Apple is “well aware” of its patent and that the iPhone maker’s infringement has caused injury to its property and business, which it hopes to reclaim as damages; the company is also seeking attorney’s fees and an injunction preventing Apple from further infringement.

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Comments

1

Shouldn’t they be suing the software developers? Apple hasn’t made any applications that do such. At least not that I am aware of.

Posted by qphayes on March 24, 2009 at 2:44 PM (PDT)

2

I hope this lawsuit doesn’t sick. I mean seriously, the guys at star trek I least took the effort to build a mock up of such a device back in the 80’s. I don’t see them suing.

Posted by jay on March 24, 2009 at 3:15 PM (PDT)

3

That definition of e-book reader needs to be revisited.  An e-book reader doesn’t have to be the size of a sheet of paper.  An e-book reader should be something that reads e-books, hence the name.  There have been so many cases against apple recently, it is ridiculous.

Posted by Dan on March 24, 2009 at 6:32 PM (PDT)

4

Are they suing Amazon for its Kindle as well?  An iPhone is a blank slate for all kinds of applications.

Posted by TulsaGent in Tulsa, OK, USA on March 24, 2009 at 6:48 PM (PDT)

5

Hmmm - their patent sounds awfully like a tablet PC running Acrobat reader…..

or a Palm Tungsten running Acrobat…..
or a iPaq running acrobat….

Just wait for Windows to introduce touch screen support. Then, a 20” LCD monitor will fall into the trap - a touch screen LCD mounted in a frame.

I hope lawyers realise that ALL LCDs are “integrated in a flat, frame-like housing”.

What rubbish!!

Bring back the lawsuits about smiley faces, and the Shift key!!!

Posted by Gary on March 24, 2009 at 8:45 PM (PDT)

6

The quote describing the device would apply very well to a 1997 Apple Newton Messagepad 2100 and it’s built-in bookreader software.

Posted by otaku on March 25, 2009 at 6:06 AM (PDT)

7

This is completely silly; there’s way too much prior art.

The Rocket eBook was released in 1998. They filed in 1999. I think they have no case.

Posted by ckd on March 25, 2009 at 12:44 PM (PDT)

8

I agree with the general sentiment here.  This sounds an awful lot like a money grab by a patent troll.  I wonder if the Apple’s own Newton with bookreader software could be considered “prior art”. I would hope that Apple’s legals are looking into that.

Posted by SkiBumMSP on March 25, 2009 at 4:57 PM (PDT)

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