Apple was hit with two lawsuits on Friday. Our first report covered Adaptix suing Apple over 4G technology and in this second report we cover Steelhead Licensing suing Apple over the iPhone 5 infringing on their patent which was originally a British Telecom patent. A little over a year ago it was reported that British Telecom had sued Google over mass patent infringement. This time around, British Telecom decided to sell one of their patents to Steelhead Licensing knowing full well it would eventually be used to sue some of their partners and competitors. While Apple appears to have been their first target, Steelhead went to town on Friday by filing similar lawsuits against Sprint Nextel, RIM, and Motorola. That's what Patent Trolls do.
Steelhead Licensing is suing Apple with a British Telecommunications public limited company patent. According to the document filed with the court, Steelhead is presently the owner of the patent and possesses all right, title and interest in and to the 5,491,834 patent entitled "Mobile Radio Handover Initiation Determination". Steelhead owns all rights of recovery under the '834 Patent, including the exclusive right to recover for past infringement.
Steelhead's formal complaint before the courts states that "For both Apple UMTS/LTE Products and Apple CDMA/LTE Products, Defendant relies on the patented process to determine mobile device communication conditions for initiating a handover from one cell to another." Steelhead specifically lists Apple's UMTS/LTE infringing products as being the iPhone5 model A1428.
The case was filed in the United States Delaware District Court in Wilmington. No judge has been assigned to this case as of yet. In 2011, a study showed that 'Patent Trolls' Cost Tech Companies $29 Billion and in a more recent study by Colleen Chien, a law professor at Santa Clara University, the focus was on patent trolling being out of control.
Steelhead makes a long winded argument to the court and for those interested in what this patent troll has to say could do so by reviewing it in the document presented below.
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