Late on Friday a Texas based company by the name of Cedatech Holdings, LLC filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple using a 2010 granted patent titled "Integration of Audio or Video Program with Application." The lawsuit focuses on Apple's use of speech recognition software in such products as the iPhone and iPad.
According to the court document filed with the court, Cedatech's complaint in-part is as follows: " Apple has directly infringed, and continues to directly infringe, at least one claim of the '591 patent [US Patent 7,707,591] under 35 U.S.C. § 271, literally and/or under the doctrine of equivalents. Defendant's infringing acts include, but are not limited to: making, using, selling, and offering to sell its electronic devices. These Apple products, among other infringing features, provide the capability to integrate an audio or video program with a separate application program.
As one example, Apple currently makes, uses, and sells the Apple iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 infringes at least one claim of the '591 Patent, at least by providing an audio speech recognition program. This audio speech recognition program provides input into any separate application program running on the operating system.
Apple has indirectly infringed at least one claim of the '591 Patent, through induced infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271. Apple is notified of its infringement of the '591 Patent as of the filing of this complaint. Nevertheless, Apple continues its acts of indirect infringement by continuing to actively induce consumers to practice the invention claimed in the '591 Patent. Apple instructs consumers to use Apple devices with speech input, within the scope of the '591 Patent. For example, consumers are induced to use iPhone 5 with speech recognition to provide input into separate application programs.
Apple's use of the technology claimed in the '591 Patent is without license or authorization from Cedatech.
Within the segment of the complaint containing Cedatech's prayer for relief, they ask for judgment to "Award Cedatech all damages to which it is entitled under 35 U.S.C. § 284 resulting from HTC's infringement, and ordering a full accounting of all damages adequate to compensate Cedatech for the infringement of its patent rights."
It appears that Tiburon Intellectual Property, acting as Cedatech Holdings counsel, has mixed up their lawsuit with the one filed against HTC. Cedatech, like most patent trolls, is suing multiple companies at the same time. Apple, HTC and Dell are being sued separately yet simultaneously.
The 2010 granted patent was once owned by Talkway Inc. Cedatech Holdings, LLC (Cedatech) acquired the patent and is now the owner of the '591 Patent and has all rights to enforce it.
The patent infringement case presented in today's report was filed in the Texas Eastern District Court. The Presiding Judge in this case is noted as being Judge Amos L. Mazzant.
A Note about Patent Trolls
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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