St. Luke Technologies, LLC has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple with 7 counts of infringement of patents that were based on inventions from Dr. Nagel, Dr. Felsher and Steve Hoffberg relating to cloud computing encryption. St. Luke points out that Apple has cited their inventions in no less than 10 of their patents calling them "innovative." Over the years these collective patents have been cited in over 550 patents in the United States by high tech companies like Microsoft, SAP, IBM, Oracle, Google, Cisco and many more. The lawsuit notes that Apple was losing business due to not having strong encryption technology and allegedly copied their technology.
There are seven patents listed in St. Luke Technologies patent infringement case against Apple. The patents-in-suite include patents: 8,316,237 ("the '237 patent"); 7,181,017 ("the '017 patent"); 7,869,591 ("the '591 patent"); 8,904,181 ("the '181 patent"); 7,587,368 ("the '368 patent"); 8,498,941 ("the '941 patent"; and 8,566,247 ("the '247 patent").
St. Luke Technologies Basic Introduction In-Part
In an effort to expand its product base and profit from the sale of infringing cloud computing encryption technologies and information record infrastructure technologies, Apple has unlawfully and without permission copied the technologies and inventions of Dr. Robert H. Nagel, David P. Felsher, and Steven M. Hoffberg.
Dr. Nagel, Mr. Felsher, and Mr. Hoffberg are the co-inventors of the '237, '017, '591, '181, and '247 patents (collectively, the "Secure Third-Party Communications Patents" or "STPC patents").
The STPC patents have been cited in over 550 United States patents and patent applications as prior art before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The STPC patents disclose systems and methods for secure communications over a computer network where a third party (intermediary) performs a requisite function with respect to the transaction without requiring the intermediary to be trusted with respect to the private information or cryptographic keys for communicated information. The inventions taught in the STPC patents employ secure cryptographic schemes, which drastically reduce the risk of unauthorized disclosure of encrypted data.
The below diagram shows St. Luke's STPC patents, pending STPC patent applications, and the STPC patents Apple infringes.
Over a decade after Dr. Nagel and his co-inventors conceived of the inventions disclosed in the STPC patents, an Apple white paper described systems such as Dr. Nagel, Mr. Felsher, and Mr. Hoffberg's secure third party communications system as "innovative" and a "leap forward."
IOS SECURITY - WHITE PAPER 4 (February 2014) (emphasis added by St. Luke):
[Excerpt from White Paper] "We thought about the security hazards of the desktop environment, and established a new approach to security in the design of iOS. We developed and incorporated innovative features that tighten mobile security and protect the entire system by default. As a result, iOS is a major leap forward in security for mobile devices."
St. Luke's complaint added that "Tim Cook, Apple's Chief Executive Officer, has repeatedly stated that the use of encryption technologies is central to Apple's business, particularly where data is stored in the "Cloud."
[Tim Cook] "We don't read your emails, we don't read your messages, we find it unacceptable to do that. I don't want people reading mine! […] We have designed Apple Pay purposely so that we don't know where you buy something, how much you pay for it, what you bought. We don't want to know any of that."
From an interview with Germany's "Warum ich mich den Deutschen so nah fühle, BILDE-ZEITUNG" March 2015 (Mr. Cook went on to describe the importance of secure communications in the context of email hacking: "If Snowden did anything for us at all, then it was to get us to talk more about these things.").
Mr. Felsher is the inventor of the '368 patent, the '941 patent, and U.S. Patent Nos. 7,805,377 ("the '377 patent"), 8,380,630 ("the '630 patent"), and 8,600,895 ("the '895 patent") (collectively, "Information Record Infrastructure Patents" or "IRI patents"). The IRI patents have been cited by over 970 United States patents and patent applications as prior art before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
In 1975, Dr. Nagel developed a system harnessing burgeoning microprocessor power to broadcast stock prices and related data over coaxial cable and telephone networks. Dr. Nagel's patented system was the foundation of Reuters's high-speed transmission technologies for distributing real-time market information.
Reuters sold thousands of information systems modeled on Dr. Nagel's patented inventions. Hundreds of companies including IBM, Intel, and Xerox cite Dr. Nagel's groundbreaking inventions described in his patents as relevant prior art in their own patents.
Following his development of groundbreaking electronic data distribution systems for Reuters, Dr. Nagel used his insights to develop the secure communications technologies that are used today by Apple and many of the world's largest corporations without attribution or compensation.
Dr. Nagel foresaw the need for enabling secure communications between two parties wherein an intermediary performs a requisite function with respect to the transaction without requiring the intermediary to be trusted with respect to the private information or cryptographic keys for communicated information.
Dr. Nagel's interest in developing secure systems for the provision of highly secure data was driven in part by his experience being totally blind.8 Dr. Nagel recognized that the growing adoption of the Internet and increased computational power presented unique challenges to the security of medical records. Dr. Nagel also had the insight that the challenges presented in controlling access to secure medical records could be applied outside the context of medical records, with wide applicability to the security of data on networks where an intermediary could have access to secure information.
The rise of cloud computing (the delivery of on-demand computing resources over a distributed network), has made Dr. Nagel and his co-inventors' insights uniquely valuable. Medical records, financial information, email messages, and other forms of electronic data are now placed on remote servers and accessed via a network by a diverse variety of users, under a diverse variety of circumstances.
The STPC patents have been cited in over 550 United States patents and published patent applications as prior art before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.10 Companies whose patents cite the Secure Third-Party Communication Patents include:
• Microsoft Corporation
• Nokia Corporation
• Apple, Inc.
• International Business Machines Corporation
• Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
• Ncr Corporation
• Netapp, Inc.
• Adobe Systems Incorporated
• American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
• AT&T Intellectual Property LLP
• Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
• Hytrust, Inc.
• Cisco Technology, Inc.
• Intuit Inc.
• Cloudera, Inc.
• Novell, Inc.
• Google Inc.
• Teradata Us, Inc.
• Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
• Texas Instruments Inc.
• Unitedhealth Group Incorporated
• Fujitsu Limited
• Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
• Verizon Patent and Licensing Inc.
• Visa U.S.A. Inc.
• Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
• Yahoo! Inc.
• Koninklijke Philips Electronics, N.V.
• Zynga Inc.
• Square, Inc.
• Sprint Communications Company L.P.
• Sony Corporation
• Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
• Sharp Laboratories of America, Inc.
• Sap AG
• EMC Corporation
• Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
• Ricoh Co., Ltd.
• Red Hat, Inc.
• Panasonic Corporation
• Broadcom Corporation
• Oracle International Corporation
The inventions taught in the STPC patents relate to the encryption of data passed through an intermediary and have been recognized by Apple as important and valuable:
"iCloud Keychain encryption keys are created on your devices, and Apple can't access those keys. Only encrypted keychain data passes through Apple's servers, and Apple can't access any of the key material that could be used to decrypt that data."
The adoption of secure encryption technologies was critical to Apple's current success. An April 2008 article in PC Magazine describes Apple's struggles with developing sufficient encryption for data passed over a computer network by intermediaries:
According to a report in InformationWeek:
"Macs are banned from many government departments because there aren't any 'approved' applications to encrypt them. So why doesn't Apple CEO Steve Jobs do something about it? In the US last week, The National Health Institutes banned MacBooks from being used by staff because they lack an approved encryption tool to protect client information."
Seven Counts against Apple
Counts 1, 3, 4 and 5: It's is the belief of St. Luke Technologies that the following Apple products infringe upon patents 8,316,237, 7,869,591, 8,904,181, 8,566,247: iMessage; FaceTime; Handoff and Apple mobile devices using iOS (e.g. iPhone, iPad, iPod, iPod touch = iDevices)
Count 2: It's is the belief of St. Luke Technologies that the following Apple products infringe upon patent 7,181,017: iMessage; HomeKit; iCloud and Apple iDevices.
Luke Technologies notes under this count that "On information and belief, Apple had knowledge of the '017 patent since at least 2002. Apple cited the '017 patent in the following issued United States Patents:
• U.S. Patent No. 7,587,047 issued on September 8, 2009 and assigned to Apple.
• U.S. Patent No. 7,650,507 issued on January 19, 2010 and assigned to Apple.
• U.S. Patent No. 8,064,888 issued on November 22, 2011 and assigned to Apple.
• U.S. Patent No. 8,320,889 issued on November 27, 2012 and assigned to Apple.
• U.S. Patent No. 8,402,273 issued on March 19, 2013 and assigned to Apple.
• U.S. Patent No. 8,412,164 issued on April 2, 2013 and assigned to Apple.
• U.S. Patent No. 8,555,067 issued on October 8, 2013 and assigned to Apple.
• U.S. Patent No. 8,681,975 issued on March 25, 2014 and assigned to Apple.
• U.S. Patent No. 9,106,447 issued on August 11, 2015 and assigned to Apple.
• U.S. Patent Application No. 2011/0051931 published March 3, 2011 and assigned to Apple."
Count 6: It's is the belief of St. Luke Technologies that the following Apple products infringe upon patent 7,587,368: FairPlay Streaming in applications and on Apple TV; the Apple iTunes Store; iOS 6 and above; FairPlay Streaming is built into Safari.
Count 7: It's is the belief of St. Luke Technologies that the following Apple products infringe upon patent 8,498,941: iDevices, the Apple iTunes Store, Apple iTunes client for iOS X, iOS and Windows (collectively "iTunes."), functionality in iTunes on iOS and a plurality of automated electronic databases covering iTunes in relation to movies, TV shows, books and more.
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.
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