Apple targeted by patent troll on every touch product

Apple targeted by patent troll on every touch product
We're used to seeing Apple engaged in patent lawsuits, often as the plaintiff, although occasionally as the target. However, this time FlatWorld Interactives has targeted Apple, and targeted the company in a big way. And, of course this has to happen just after Tim Cook goes on record saying that he hates litigation

FlatWorld Interactives holds a patent related to touch-based interactive museum displays, and it is claiming that all of Apple's touch devices - iPhone, iPad, and Macs using a Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad - infringe on that patent. Apparently, the patent was granted back in 2005 and FlatWorld has only used the system described twice. The patent describes a system where you can "throw" objects off a screen when the "velocity of the touch exceeds a predetermined threshold," and describes certain gestures, although supposedly none of the gestures matches those used in any Apple device. 

Adding to the suspicious nature of the claim is that even though the patent was granted in 2005, FlatWorld wasn't even incorporated until a couple of weeks after the iPhone was announced, and the patent request was reissued in July of 2007 with a few modifications. Overall, it doesn't seem like this is much of a threat to Apple, but if Tim Cook says he prefers settling, it's likely that more of these types of suits may come Apple's way. 

source: Ars Technica

FEATURED VIDEO

18 Comments

1. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

the final assault has begun

2. eaxvac

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

At least they have their own patent, unlike Google who stole it and distribute them to Android manufacturers as if its their own.

7. chadrick0814 unregistered

I think you actually mean "slide to unlock.". You know, that thing that was invented and used well before Apple patented it as if it was their own and started suing everyone over it.

11. wumberpeb

Posts: 453; Member since: Mar 14, 2011

Don't feed the trolls...they're never full

15. NaRFL

Posts: 25; Member since: Apr 09, 2012

bitch pleae!

3. wumberpeb

Posts: 453; Member since: Mar 14, 2011

This is ridiculous, as this would affect every modern smartphone, and likely tablets, if I'm not mistaken... Trolling at it's finest, or worst if you wanna look at it that way

4. wumberpeb

Posts: 453; Member since: Mar 14, 2011

Scratch that part about EVERY smartphone or tablet, not sure what a Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad is...still dumb that companies and their lawyers think they can feed off of Apple (or any company) in the hopes for some out of court settlement. Rambus anyone?

17. tedkord

Posts: 17413; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It is overly broad. They should only sue for valid issues, like rectangle shapes and black bezels.

5. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

how can you patent a gestureā€¦ maybe if it was the technology that read the gesture, but a gesture in itself is ridiculous.. and ps michael h, this started before the earnings call this morning-- not an important detail but just wanted to let u know

9. JC557

Posts: 1919; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Our friend from Xerox was ahead of the curve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8lCetZ_57g Not to mention the other companies that put that idea to fruition and expanded upon it.

18. tedkord

Posts: 17413; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I was really beginning to think this video was barely related to the topic, when the fellow opened a book on the desktop, used a multitouch gesture to highlight a paragraph in the book, and dragged and dropped it in his presentation. Apple ripped alot more than the GUI off Xerox. Looks like Xerox were the real geniuses.

6. darktranquillity

Posts: 285; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

Dear apple, you started it and it'll take you to your end:)

8. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Sue them to hell

20. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

Patent "using the middle finger to do the screen unlock"!

21. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

And here is a gem I just saw on Phonescoop... "Apple iPhone Violates Motorola Wi-Fi Patent"

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.