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Apple Sued by a Third Party using Powerful Patents from Palm & 3Com

1 - SmartPhone Technologies vs Apple
A company by the name of SmartPhone Technologies is suing Apple, AT&T and AT&T Mobility for patent infringement. So what makes this patent troll case any different from the others? Well, interestingly, Smartphone Technologies states that they're the "exclusive licensee" of the six patents in this case that just happen to be heavy hitters from Palm and 3Com dating back to between 1997 and 2000.  This could be a very interesting case - yet a headache for Apple.  


The Alleged Patent Infringement In-Part


In each of the six counts of infringement brought against Apple, the complaint is common. SmartPhone Technologies allege that Apple has infringed on at least one claim of the respective patents listed in this case, by selling, importing devices and/or services including iPhone, iPads, iCloud, iTunes, MacBooks and/or Apple Sync Services (together "Apple Devices"), that integrated phone and PDA user interface on a single processor. Apple and/or other users of iPhones have at minimum directly infringed the patents. 


The Key Patents in this Case


The six granted patents that are listed in this patent infringement case against Apple include the following Palm Inc, PalmSource Inc and 3Com patents:


Granted Patent 6,976,217 Titled: Method and apparatus for integrating phone and PDA user interface on a single processor. From: PalmSource Inc. 2000


2 - Palmsource patent 6976217 phone & PDA UI on a single processor

Granted Patent 6,928,300 Titled: Patent Method and apparatus for automated flexible configuring of notifications and activation. From: PalmSource Inc. 2000


Granted Patent 6,466,236 Titled: System and method for displaying and manipulating multiple calendars on a personal digital assistant. From: Palm, Inc. 1999.


Granted Patent 6,243,705 Titled: Method and apparatus for synchronizing information on two different computer systems. From: Palm, Inc. 1998


Granted Patent 6,956,562 Titled: Method for controlling a handheld computer by entering commands onto a displayed feature of the handheld computer. From: PalmSource, Inc., 2000


Granted Patent 5,832,489 Titled: Method and apparatus for synchronizing information on two different computer systems. From: 3Com Corporation, 1997


This patent infringement case has been filed, of course, in the patent troll friendly Texas Eastern District Court, under case number 6:2011cv00604. No exceptional requests for relief were made. Although SmartPhone Technologies has submitted a Corporate Disclosure Statement that states that no major company holds 10% of the company, you always have to wonder why we're not able to know if some large company owns 9% of the company. But that's an argument for another day.


The patents and dates presented this case would suggest that this case could be an extraordinary one for a patent troll and a headache for Apple.


Update 10:30 AM: It should be noted that Intellectual Mobile provides us with information about SmartPhone Technologies background. They link it back to Acacia Research Corporation which leads back to Acacia Research Group who licenses their patents to companies such as LG Electronics, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and others, as noted below.


XTRA - Info on Acacia Research Corporation

Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of certain legal cases/ lawsuits which are part of the public record for journalistic news purposes. Readers are cautioned that Patently Apple does not offer an opinion on the merit of the case and strictly presents the allegations made in said legal cases / lawsuits. A lawyer should be consulted for any further details or analysis. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments. On most legal cases, comments will be closed. See our Legal Archives for other patent infringement cases.


Here are a Few Great Community Sites covering our Original Report


MacSurfer, Twitter, Facebook, Apple Investor News, Google Reader, Mac Hash, Macnews, iPhone World Canada, CBS MarketWatch, MacDailyNews, Intellectual Mobile, and others.  


TZ - STEVE JOBS - Think Different Forevermore



Supposedly, the fact that SmartPhone & Acacia Research are linked is from the court filing document of SmartPhone's previous suit back in Mar. 2010 (SmartPhone Technologies LLC v. Research In Motion Corporation et al).

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