Patent infringement suit against Apple's FaceTime, dismissed in 2015, returns to the courtroom

The other day we told you that the company forcing Apple to fight a possible product ban in China is no longer an operating company. According to the Wall Street Journal, Baili and its parent company Digione "barely exist." The suit claims that the Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus violate design patents used for the Baili 100C smartphone which is no longer in production.

On Friday, Apple was the subject of another patent suit brought by a non-operating company. Filed in the Northern California District Court, the suit was brought by Straight Path Corporation, a division of Straight Path Communications. It claims that Apple's FaceTime front-facing camera and video chatting system infringes on five patents; the patents were once owned by NetSpeak Corporation for a product called WebPhone. The five patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,009,469, 6,108,704, 6,131,121, 6,701,365 and 7,149,208, have already cleared USPTO re-examination following challenges to their validity. Straight Path seeks unspecified damages for the infringement of the five patents, reimbursement of legal fees, and any other relief that the court deems to be fair.

The patents help two devices link with each other on a network that neither device is permanently connected to. For example, the user of phone 1 opens a VoIP app to make a call to phone 2. When the app is open, it broadcasts the IP address to a server which notes the information and says the first user is online. Using the same method, the server determines if the second user is online. If it is determined that the second user is indeed online, the server sends its IP address to the first user. The latter initiates a request to communicate. When one of the parties logs off, the database is updated to include the latest status.

Apple allegedly infringes on the Straight Path patents when users' IP addresses are tracked by Apple Push Network services and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) technology. Additionally, FaceTime's hardware integration with devices like the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and the Mac are said to infringe on technology employed 20-years ago on the WebPhone. This exact case was first filed in 2014, and was dismissed without prejudice in 2015, meaning that the case could be re-filed.

   Straight Path Complaint by Mikey Campbell

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source: Scribd via AppleInsider

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