MIT sues Apple over patent from 1997

MIT sues Apple over patent from 1997
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has sued Apple and its suppliers for infringing on a patent that dates back to 1997. MIT claims that Apple's computers and mobile devices use semiconductor wafers produced using a laser cutting technique that was patented by two men around 15 years ago. MIT filed the suit in Boston federal court claiming that Micron Technology knew about the patent when the company used it to provide Apple with DRAM semiconductor chips for products like the iPhone and iPad.

The patent covers a method for cutting a link between two interconnected circuits. The patent was issued in 2000 to an engineering professor in Israel named Joseph Bernstein, and his fellow inventor Zhihui Duan. The pair filed the patent in 1997. But MIT says that it has the rights to the patent and is due damages and royalties on all Apple products containing chips that were produced using the patented technology.

In a similar situation, back in 2013 Boston University sued Apple claiming that the tech titan infringed on a patent from 1997 that covered a small electronic component. Boston University used a law firm in Texas that gets paid on a contingency basis to sue Apple and other tech firms. The company sought a ban of the Apple iPhone 5 and one tech analyst predicted that the suit could be settled for as much as $75 million just to stop it from being a nuisance to Apple.

   MIT v Apple



source: Scribd via GigaOm

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31 Comments

1. Fallen1

Posts: 288; Member since: Nov 14, 2014

A nuisance...... Proof that money talks

3. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Correct me if I'm wrong, but why should Apple have to pay MIT? The chip manufacturer was Micron, they're the ones that infringed on the patents, and thus the party that should be sued. For being a fancy school of science and technology, someone apparently forgot logical deduction.

4. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Tell that to MS lawyers and their lawsuits on Android OEMs... I agree, and I also feel Google should be the target of the MS lawsuits.

10. SPASE

Posts: 261; Member since: May 03, 2013

Yes and No, but OEMs aren't forced to use android.

15. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

And Apple aren't forced to use Micron

22. SPASE

Posts: 261; Member since: May 03, 2013

Oh well, I certainly won't loose sleep over any of it ;)

26. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

True that :D And these multi-billion dollar companies probably won't lose any either

23. androidmachines

Posts: 31; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

Suddenly everyone is an authority on patant issues?! Fanboys & commentators are really taking it to the next level nowadays hey...

27. Leo_MC

Posts: 7207; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

It's not the same. Apple bought a final product while oem are using royalty generating technology. I'm sure Microsoft tried to reach an understanding with each oem before adding for royalty rights.

29. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Yes but you forget, Android is not ready to go out the box. If that was the case, everyone could run base base ASOP, which wouldnt be much fun. No file manager (that uses patents from MS) and various other things. As a result, when you start putting things in place, that deviates from what Google is truly offering for free. That's where you get into trouble.

31. tedkord

Posts: 17311; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Didn't nVidia recently sue Samsung for using parts from Qualcomm? I don't recall any outrage about that from the usual suspects, just comments about "Samsung stealing again. "

9. SPASE

Posts: 261; Member since: May 03, 2013

Because they were employed by Apple. Would you as an employee or subcontractor like to be sued for following a principal employers instructions? I wouldn't.

16. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Micron may be the manufacturer, but they use apple's parameters, and if apple requests Micron make chips in a method contained within the patent without permission and /or royalties, then apple is also guilty. It's like when a hit man is hired to kill someone. The hit man is guilty of first-degree murder and related crimes, but the hirer of the hit man is guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree murder by association, and other crimes.

21. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Ok, I like the explanations in #9 and #16. Starts to make sense now.

5. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Because Apple is struggling financially in 1997, we choose to wait until Apple reach its peak, then we sue even it's 15years later

6. tedkord

Posts: 17311; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

8. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Apple probably was not using these chips in 1997, that didnt come until years later I'm sure.

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 21778; Member since: May 28, 2014

Apple is getting a taste of its own medicine.

13. SPASE

Posts: 261; Member since: May 03, 2013

When did apple enter the pharmaceutical industry? JK

14. meanestgenius

Posts: 21778; Member since: May 28, 2014

Ha. Ha.

33. Psykotik_Dragon

Posts: 81; Member since: Dec 21, 2013

well they've apparently been in it a while..."An Apple A Day keeps The Doctor Away"...apparently they're also aliens bent on destroying/taking over the earth since they want to keep The Doctor away...

17. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Well, the article did not state that the patent was infringed upon back in 1997, but that's when the patent was issued.... I don't really care about these patent legal issues. They annoy me and hinder technological progress.

20. stealthd unregistered

What a coincidence that the patent expires in 2 years.

24. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

You'd generally file a suit during the period the patent is in place. It'd be pretty stupid to file afterwards.

32. tedkord

Posts: 17311; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

What a coincidence that that patent is still valid. Doesn't matter when it expires. I know it might confuse Apple diehards because it's a patent on actual tech and not "borrowed" from anyone else, but that's what patents are actually supposed to cover.

28. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Pay it and keep making great products.

34. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Everybody want Apple money....

35. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Can you really blame them... but if Apple did in fact infringe on their patent then they have every right to take them to court.

36. tedkord

Posts: 17311; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

If Apple is making that money using something stolen, then they deserve the money.

37. memeON1

Posts: 34; Member since: Nov 26, 2014

Apple want everybody's money too remember?

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