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Apple sued for iDevices Allegedly Infringing a "Universal Keyboard" Patent

17.4A Patent Infringement


A Patent Troll going by the name of "Princeps Interface Technologies" filed patent infringement lawsuits on Friday against both Apple and Samsung in separate filings. The troll claims that the two tech giants have infringed patent 6,703,963 titled "Universal Keyboard." The patent troll acquired the patent from Timothy Higginson for the sole purpose of suing tech companies and not to actually make anything.


The patent's keyboard is in reference to one form or another of a physical keyboard which has no relation to Apple's virtual keyboards that are found on iDevices. The patent covers the patent figures as shown below that are in context to "portable keyboards."


2 patent figures from patent that is being used against Apple in lawsuit


Even the one patent figure above that illustrates a mobile phone presents one with a physical keyboard with buttons like mobile phones prior to the iPhone. This kind of mobile phone with button based keyboards was mocked by Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs when he introduced the iPhone's "Revolutionary UI" at the 5 minute mark of the video below.



The patent for the "Universal Keyboard" makes no mention of a virtual keyboard.


2 x screenshot of patent used in case to sue apple with


The patent troll "Princeps Interface Technologies" states that Apple's iPhones, iPads and iPods running iOS infringe patent claims 1, 2, 3, 9, 12 and 60 of the ’963 patent as presented below for your convenience:


Patent Claim 01: An information input device, comprising: a functional mode control for selecting a first functional mode of operation of multiple functional modes of operation by the input device; a domain control for selecting one of multiple domain levels within the first functional mode wherein each domain level is associated with a set of domain-level values; a plurality of input keys, separate and distinct from the domain control, assigned to the set of domain-level values associated with a selected domain level and functional mode, wherein each input key assigned to a domain-level value is associated with a signal, representative of the domain-level value, transmitted by the input device in response to actuation of the input key; and a function-specific display indicating a domain-level value associated with each input key for a currently selected functional mode and domain level combination, wherein the input keys and domain control are simultaneously presented by the input device.


Patent Claim 02: The invention as in claim 1 wherein the domain-level value assigned to an input key is determined by software associated with each functional mode.


Patent Claim 03: the invention as in claim 1 wherein the domain-level value associated with an input key is assignable by a user of the input device


Patent Claim 09: The invention as in claim 1 wherein each display is comprised of a touch screen


Patent Claim 12: The invention as in claim 1 wherein the domain control comprises a second set of continuously present controls for selecting the domain level within a functional mode


Patent Claim 60: A method of operating an information input device comprising one or more functional modes of operation having multiple domain levels selectable by a domain control, each domain level containing domain-level values, a plurality of input keys, separate and distinct from the domain control, having domain-level values assigned according to a current functional mode of operation and current domain level and a display to indicate the domain-level values associated with the input keys, wherein the method comprises the steps of: first selecting a functional mode of operation of the information input device; second selecting, through the domain control, a domain level within the selected functional mode of operation; and actuating one or more of the input keys, associated with domain-level values corresponding to the domain level selected during the second selecting step, and wherein the input keys and domain control are simultaneously presented by the input device


For more details in this patent infringement case, review the full formal complaint filed with the court below, courtesy of Patently Apple.


   Princeps Interface Technologies v. Apple Inc - Patent Infringement Case by Jack Purcher on Scribd


4 overview of case Princeps Interface Technologies LLC v Apple Inc  Patently Apple Report


10.4F - Patently Legal

Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of patent infringement lawsuits which are part of the public record for journalistic news purposes. A lawyer should be consulted for in-depth analysis.


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