Apple Sued over Fast Booting in OS X with a Patent linked to LG Electronics
A Floridian Company by the name Operating Systems Solutions, LCC, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple for OS X's fast booting operation. The interesting twist to this lawsuit is that the patent was originally owned by LG Electronics.
The Alleged Patent Infringement In-Part
The court's document on Count 1 states that "Apple sells or offers to sell within this district, computer systems, including but not limited to the MacBook Pro, that utilize the Mac OSX operating system that infringes at least claim 1 of the OSS [Operating System Solutions] Patent."
OSS Patent RE40,092 Abstract
The one-time LG Electronics patent abstract reads as follows: "A method for quickly booting a personal computer system using boot configuration information on memory and the attached devices that was created and saved in a hard disk at the preceding boot process. The method for a quick boot process includes the steps of performing a power-on self test POST) operation when a personal computer system is powered on or a reset button is pressed; performing a normal boot process after the POST operation; saving the contents of memory and the status of the attached devices to a hard disk; checking if a reboot is requested; restoring the saved boot configuration information from the hard disk, after POST is completed during the reboot process; checking whether or not an initial device configuration file and/or an automatic batch file were changed; and executing commands in the two files and saving a newly created boot configuration information to the hard disk for future boot. The personal computer system, may reboot quickly because of omission of execution of the initial device configuration filed and the automatic batch file."
Operating Systems Solutions patent FIG. 3 noted above illustrates a flowchart of a method for a quick boot.
What Patent Claim 1 Actually States
The lawsuit specifically states that Apple's OS X violates "at least Claim 1" of the OSS patent. The claim in question reads as follows:
"A method for fast booting a computer system, comprising the steps of: A. performing a power on self test (POST) of basic input output system (BIOS) when the system is powered on or reset is requested; B. checking whether a boot configuration information including a system booting state which was created while executing a previous normal booting process exists or not; C. storing the boot configuration information from execution of the POST operation before loading a graphic interface (GUI) program, based on the checking result; and D. loading the graphic user interface (GUI) program."
The Original Owner of the Patent
The original owner/assignee of this 2002 granted patent is shown to be LG Electronics Inc. Note that the inventor of the reissued granted patent under RE40,092 is the same but assigned to Protimus Technologies LLC in 2008. It's the very same patent that is being quoted in the court's document.
Without sufficient resources, it's difficult for Patently Apple to assess if LG Electronics has any stake in the patent infringement case against Apple or not. Considering that the new LG Tablet uses Google's Android, it's hard not to discount a possible indirect connection. For now however, it's in the hands of Operating Systems Solutions LCC, a company that doesn't appear in a simple Google search. These types of cases are usually the specialty practice of Patent Trolls. Update Aug. 08, 2011: Also review IP analyst Florian Mueller's take on the possible LG connection.
The case was filed in Florida Middle District Court. The presiding Judge in this case is noted as being Judge James S. Moody. It should be noted that while this is a patent infringement case, the docket states that it's an Injunctive Relief Request. That seems to be odd considering that the company is seeking damages in this case.
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