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Swiss company seeks ban on Apple iPhone and Apple TV over alleged patent infringement

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Swiss company seeks ban on Apple iPhone and Apple TV over alleged patent infringement
Who said that the Swiss are neutral? Based in Switzerland, SmartData is seeking a ban on the Apple iPhone and Apple TV in the country saying that when the devices are used together via the Apple remote app, it results in an infringement on the company's "modular computer" patent. While the small Swiss company doesn't do any business in the area, it filed the suit against Apple in the Northern District Court of California on Monday, alleging that the Cupertino based tech titan infringed on a patent dubbed "Zukero,"which covers wireless computing.

SmartData's illustration of its modular computing

SmartData's illustration of its modular computing

The patent involved is U.S. Patent Number 7,158,757, which was filed in 2001 and granted in 2007, just one week before Apple TV was introduced. The patent covers a wireless system made up of  a pocket-sized central unit that can "store data and execute programs" with a second input device that can connect wirelessly and has an interface to communicate with a remote network, and lastly, a television screen. By 2008, SmartData had received a patent for "Zukero" in the  U.S., China and Europe. The filing accuses Apple of knowing about the "757" patent when it released the products

SmartData said in the filing that it met with Apple in  July 2004 about the patent application and the pair tried to work out a licensing agreement until mid-2006 when communication between the two ended, except for two unsuccessful attempts made by the Swiss firm to contact Apple in 2006 and in 2007.

source: AppleInsider

19 Comments
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posted on 11 Feb 2012, 14:04

1. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


ughhhhhhhh

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 14:58 4

4. metoyou (Posts: 277; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Phonearena is not that bad only a few editors are iphonerena, Gsmarena is the worse of them all and next should be boygenius and engadget

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 15:49

8. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Prasad Naik! XD

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 15:09 4

6. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


well, this is new. wonder how this will go. if they were trying to get apple work an agreement and apple brushed them aside thinking they could just bully them, then they deserve to be punished.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 15:41 1

7. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Wait I thought you were against banning. O I forgot its apple you wan't them to be banished to hell. Well ok then move along. Can't really say I disagree.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 17:30 5

10. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


i only want apple to be banned so they get off their arrogant bully stance and start acting like a normal company and find ways to get along and get paid off your competitor. On a normal circumstance, I am against banning.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 18:53

17. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Remixfa you can't bully the bully that goes against playground hierarchy dugh.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 21:39 3

22. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


you dont bully the bully, you punch that little twerp in the nose and the balls until he drops to the ground, then put your knee in his face. the bully is now the b*tch. Then everyone else can go back to enjoying recess.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 21:51 2

23. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5522; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Bullies are all about the threat - call them on their threat (or beat the crap out of them when they threaten you) and it is all over. Unfortunately, Apple isn't about the threat. They have and will go hit-for-hit with you and come back for more until you are buried. Patent litigation for them is bidness (aka war) by other means.

The only way to deal with that kind of mentality is to build up a similar war chest and go rounds with them until they get tired. With Steve out of the picture, a more rational decision process will hopefully intercede (either at the Tim Cook level or from the BoD).

But make no mistake, Apple will not back off the litigation track until they have lost more than a few rounds. They will only back off once it is clear that patent litigation is counter-productive.

Until then, the attorneys make out like bandits ($100 million in just the HTC litigation).

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 23:18

25. cncrim (Posts: 457; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


I believed that is the only way to straight out the bully.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 23:18 1

24. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Apple is more of the incoherent re-tard that keeps on getting beat up. Yea thats about right.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 17:01 4

9. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5522; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Intentional violation can result in treble damages. Maybe Sammy and Google should approach SmartData about purchasing their patent? This could put a major crimp in iTV.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 18:24 2

14. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5522; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Sales bans are last resort remedies in the U.S. A sales ban only gets approved after multiple repeated failures to reach agreement on payment of damages to the patent holder.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 18:01 1

11. theBankRobber (Posts: 645; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


So it took 6 years for a pataint? That's f'ing crazy and what if Apple launched the Apple TV before they were awarded the pataint? That's why pataints and how they are processed are out of control.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 18:22 4

13. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5522; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Not sure what a pataint is. If you are referring to SmartData's patent, there were discussions that occurred during the period 2004 to mid-2006 and further attempts to contact Apple in 2006 and 2007 that were blown off by Apple. I suspect the 2007 attempt occurred on the heels of SmartData receiving notice the patent was allowed to issue. Unless there is an agreement that specifically waives the notification provision, Apple is on the hook for intentional infringement and treble damages. I don't know how much in sales iTV has contributed to Apple's revenues to date, but supposedly, iTV is going to become a major effort going forward.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 21:02 2

21. theBankRobber (Posts: 645; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


Lol hey now I was typing that in a hurry before leaving my house haha. But thanks for the clear up of what's going on. :)

posted on 12 Feb 2012, 03:15 1

26. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)


The first ~18months is a silent period where the patent is not public. Thereafter (about 5 years) is when the patent is more likely to be challenged by 3rd parties. It is during this period that the patent may be officially granted. Any company, including Apple, can take the risk of releasing commercial product during a period prior to the official grant of a conflicting patent. It's a calculated risk. If the patent is granted then the firm that chose to take the risk will liely be faced with damages based on the revenue of that commericlal release.

If the Swiss company's patent is sold to a deep pocketed player other than Apple, then Apple will more than likely have a tough issue to deal with.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 18:51 2

15. som (Posts: 768; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)


Happy Valentine to Apple more lawsuits are coming soon.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 20:27 1

20. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5522; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


@androidios - do you suffer from Tourette's syndrome? Screaming is one of the symptoms....

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