A Luxembourg patent troll by the name of Enterprise Systems Technologies S.a.r.l. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. The patent infringement lawsuit claims that Apple is infringing on five patents that they acquired from Siemens.
The Plaintiff's complaint before the court officially states that Apple's "devices are communications or computing devices, or components thereof, including for example but without limitation, smartphone handsets, tablet computers, e-readers, media players, laptop computers, and other communication- and/or computing-capable consumer electronic devices, such as Apple's iPhone 5S and other similar devices embodying the 5,870,610 Patent.
Apple has had knowledge of and notice of the '610 Patent and its infringement since at least, and through, the filing and service of the Complaint. Apple has and continues to infringe one or more of the claims of the '610 Patent ..." Enterprise is entitled to recover damages adequate to compensate for Apple's infringement."
No specific patent claims that Apple allegedly infringed upon were actually cited in their formal complaint before the court which covers an additional four patents including those numbered 6,785,381, 6,594,366, 7,454,201 and 6,236,642. The same verbiage is found in all five counts of infringement against Apple. The Plaintiff simply changed the patent numbers in each count and nothing else.
The patent infringement case presented in today's report was filed in the Delaware District Court, Wilmington Office. At present, no Judge has been assigned to the case.
Court records indicate that Enterprise Systems Technologies also filed similar lawsuits against Qualcomm and Samsung on the same day which is the very signature of a professional patent troll.
A Note about Patent Trolls and Action Being Taken
A 2011 study showed that Patent Trolls cost tech companies $29 Billion and a 2012 study made the case that patent trolling was out of control. In the first half 2013, Apple remained the #1 Target of Patent Trolls. In the second half of 2013 Apple remained in the top three.
On December 5, 2013, The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the "Innovation Act" bill on Thursday aimed at discouraging frivolous lawsuits by patent holders. The move was backed by companies like Apple, IBM, Cisco and Google. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) sponsored the bill, which won strong bipartisan support in passing by a 325-91 vote. Goodlatte said his bill "takes meaningful steps to address the abusive practices that have damaged our patent system and resulted in significant economic harm to our nation."
In Addition to the new act, the FTC is currently examining the practices of patent trolls or Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) which are firms with a business model based primarily on purchasing patents and then attempting to generate revenue by asserting the intellectual property against persons who are already practicing the patented technologies. The FTC is conducting the study in order to further one of the agency's key missions—to examine cutting-edge competition and consumer protection topics that may have a significant effect on the U.S. economy.
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