On the surface, this certainly looks like a classic David and Goliath case. Individual Jerald Bovino is taking on Apple claiming that the iPad Smart Cover infringes on his "portable computer case" patent. Bovino is seeking a royalty from Apple and/or $100,000. At the end of the day, once you actually see the design, you'll have to admit that Bovino has a lot of courage taking on the number one tech company in the world.
The Alleged Patent Infringement In-Part
According to the court document, Bovino's complaint states that the "Defendant Apple has infringed and is continuing to directly infringe, contribute to the infringement of, and/or induce the infringement of, at least one claim of the '809 Patent without Plaintiff Bovino's consent or authorization. Such acts of infringement include, but are not limited to, Defendant Apple's use, sale, provision, and operation of the iPad Smart Cover for the new iPad and the iPad 2.
Plaintiff Bovino has been damaged as a result of Defendant Apple's infringing conduct. Defendant Apple is liable to Plaintiff Bovino in an amount that adequately compensates him for Defendant Apple's infringements, which, by law, cannot be less than a reasonable royalty, together with interest and costs as fixed by this Court."
Although the official complaint mentions that Bovino wants a "reasonable royalty," the fact is that the actual "Civil Docket for Case # 1:12-cv-01105-RBJ" lists a clear demand for $100,000. The abstract for Bovino's patent 6,977,809 is presented below in our graphic.
Images from the Bovino Patent
The first claim of the Bovino patent reads as follows: "A portable computer comprising: an openable case defining an exterior surface for holding the computer; and a plurality of resilient ribs positioned on said exterior surface of said case wherein said resilient ribs protects said computer from wear and tear during the transporting and use of the computer." The other claims don't appear to have any relevance against the iPad Smart Cover.
It should also be noted that the claim of "resilient ribs" as being relevant to the design is never explained in the patent as to what it entails. At the end of the day, it's very difficult to understand why Bovino thinks that there's a solid case against Apple with patent 6,977,809. Especially in light of Apple being granted a patent for the iPad Smart Cover on April 24, 2012 and a more substantive one in March of this year.
The case was filed in the United States District Court of Colorado. The presiding Judge in this case is noted as being Judge R. Brooke Jackson.
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