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Soverain IP Sues Apple and Microsoft for Infringing Patents Awarded to an MIT Professor

17.3 Cover Patent Troll Lawsuit


According to Wikipedia, Soverain Software LLC was a Chicago-based company which owned patents for its ecommerce technology products. The company held patents for digital shopping carts commonly used on e-commerce websites, such as and collected royalties on these patents, but ultimately their patents were invalidated. Soverain had earlier acquired and used patents from a failed company called Open Market. Even though Open Market's patents were invalidated, the renamed company 'Soverain IP' has simply chosen another round of Open Market patents to launch patent infringement lawsuits against both Microsoft and Apple within the last 48 hours.


Soverain IP's formal complaint before the court tries to play up that fact that the failed "Open Market" company was owned by Professor Gifford of MIT who wrote fourteen patents that are now owned by Soverain. They claim that Apple infringes on four of their patents (8,935,706, 7,191,447, 5,708,780 and 6,212,634)



The lawsuit notes that "Open Market's groundbreaking inventions led to the issuance of patents that comprise two technology portfolios: (1) the virtual shopping cart portfolio and (2) the network management and data extraction portfolio. The below diagram shows Soverain's patents, pending patent applications, and the Soverain patents Apple infringes.


3af 88 soverain graphic in lawsuit against apple

According to Soverain, some of the Apple products allegedly infringing on their patents include iMessage, FaceTime, Apple Handoff, Apple HomeKit, all of Apple's mobile devices and products using iOS.


The patent infringement case presented in today's report was filed in the Texas Eastern District Court. The Presiding Judge in this case is noted as being Judge Robert W. Schroeder. You could review the full lawsuit here


For the record, it's noted in the court document that "Soverain is the owner by assignment and exclusive licensee to twenty-four issued United States patents, multiple pending patent applications, and numerous foreign patent assets."  



For interest sake, in Soverain v. Microsoft, the same patents against Apple are used in this lawsuit with the exception of patent 6,279,112 being added which relates to a SharePoint Server and Office 365 technologies.


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