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Apple's iPhone 5 Targeted in new Patent Lawsuit for using the "Call Forwarding" Feature

PA - Title Bar - Patently Legal

Texas based Bluebonnet Telecommunications has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. The patent infringement lawsuit concerns the use of "Call Forwarding" feature on Apple's iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. The patent used in this case once belonged to Siemens Rolm Communications.

Bluebonnet Telecommunications is suing Apple for patent infringement, claiming that Apple allegedly infringes upon their patent 5,485,511 entitled "Method and Apparatus for Determining the Telephony Features Assigned to a Telephone."


2. Apple sued with this patent from Siemens Rolm

As noted above, patent 5,485,511was originally owned by Siemens Rolm Communications Inc. and has since been acquired by Bluebonnet.


The Formal Complaint In-Part


The court document presents Bluebonnet Telecommunications formal complaint in-part as follows:


"Apple, directly or through its customers and/or intermediaries, made, had made, used, imported, provided, supplied, distributed, sold, and/or offered for sale products and/or systems (including at least the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5) that infringed one or more claims of the 511 patent.


Apple has and is indirectly infringing the 511 patent, both as an inducer of infringement and as a contributory infringer.


The direct infringement underlying Apple's indirect infringement consists of the use of the accused smartphones by end-user customers.


Apple induces end-user customers to use the accused smartphones, and specifically to use them in a manner that infringes the 511 patent. They do so by (1) providing instructions to their customers that explain how to use the features of the accused devices that are accused of infringement (specifically those features that allow call forwarding and the display of whether the feature is activated); and (2) by touting the accused features of the smartphones.


Apple has contributed to the infringement of the 511 patent by end-user customer by making and selling the accused smartphones. The accused features of the accused smartphones have no substantial use other than infringing the 511 patent. In particular, the accused features that allow call forwarding have no practical use other than uses that infringe the 511 patent. The use of these features of the accused smartphones for their intended purpose necessarily results in infringement of the 511 patent.


The patent infringement case presented in today's report was filed in the Texas Eastern District Court, Marshall Office. At present, no Judge has been assigned to the case."


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.


PA - Bar - Notice

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Added Reading


Tim Cook Complained about Patent Trolls in May and Today President Obama Called on Congress to Assist US Tech Companies



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