PersonalWeb Technologies and Level 3 Communications have filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. Their formal complaint states that Apple's iTunes and iCloud services infringe upon six of their patents.
Who is PersonalWeb?
According to the formal complaint, PersonalWeb draws on its proprietary technology to innovate and develop software products, including a social learning platform and digital content management system.
PersonalWeb's software technology enhances the delivery of relevant content by using natural language and semantic analysis. Utilizing this technology, PersonalWeb has developed a product called StudyPods, which enables students to connect and collaborate online.
PersonalWeb also develops the Global File Registry digital content management system, an online database containing unique identifiers of millions of files collected on behalf of content owners and others. The registry is capable of identifying files that infringe copyrights and replacing them with other content.
Plaintiff's Preliminary Statement In-Part
PersonalWeb and Level 3 Communications, LLC ("Level 3") are parties to an agreement between Kinetech, Inc. and Digital Island, Inc. dated September 1, 2000 (the "Agreement"). Pursuant to the Agreement, PersonalWeb and Level 3 each own a fifty percent (50%) undivided interest in and to the patents at issue in this action: U.S. Patent Nos. 5,978,791, 6,415,280, 7,802,310, 7,945,539, 7,945,544, and 8,001,096 ("Patents-in-Suit"). Level 3 has joined in this Complaint pursuant to its contractual obligations under the Agreement, at the request of PersonalWeb.
Pursuant to the Agreement, Level 3 has, among other rights, certain defined rights to use, practice, license, sublicense and enforce and/or litigate the Patents-in-Suit in connection with a particular field of use ("Level 3 Exclusive Field"). Pursuant to the Agreement, PersonalWeb has, among other rights, certain defined rights to use, practice, license, sublicense, enforce and/or litigate the Patents-in-Suit in fields other than the Level 3 Exclusive Field (the "PersonalWeb Patent Field").
The Patents listed in this Case
On November 2, 1999, United States Patent No. 5,978,791 (the "'791 patent") was duly and legally issued for an invention entitled "Data Processing System Using Substantially Unique Identifiers to Identify Data Items, Whereby Identical Data Items Have the Same Identifiers." PersonalWeb has an ownership interest in the '791 patent by assignment, including the exclusive right to enforce the '791 patent within the PersonalWeb Patent Field, and continues to hold that ownership interest in the '791 patent. A true and correct copy of the '791 patent is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
Defendant Apple has infringed and continues to infringe the '791 patent by its manufacture, use, sale, importation, and/or offer for sale of its iTunes and iCloud services and any other Apple products or services utilizing Apple's content upload and synchronization system within the PersonalWeb Patent Field and its contributing to and inducement of others to manufacture, use, sell, import, and/or offer for sale infringing products.
The other patents referred to in this case include 6,415,280, 7,802,310 and 8,001,096 which repeat the same complaint as listed above concerning the '791 patent. The latter patent is the only patent listing Level 3 Communications as noted in the graphic above. Noted below is a graphic illustrating the signature of Vice President, Patent Counsel for Level 3 Communications, Inc. that was noted at the bottom of the formal complaint.
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