Apple, AT&T, 31 others sued for smart phone patent violation

Suit was filed on the same day as the patent’s approval

Last week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent to Minerva Industries, a Los Angeles-based patent-holding firm. On the same day it received the patent, Minerva proceeded to sue 33 companies for patent infringement.

In three separate patent suits filed last week in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Minerva accused Research in Motion, Apple, Motorola, Nokia, AT&T Mobility, Alltel, Samsung -- and just about every other major company involved in the design, production or sales of smart phones -- of infringing on its patent, which is for a "mobile entertainment and communication device" that has "a cellular or satellite telephone capable of wireless communication with the Internet."

Although Minerva specifically names only the Apple iPhone as a device that allegedly infringes on its patent, the company accuses all the defendants of "making, using, offering to sell, or selling mobile entertainment and communication devices" covered by the patent.

"Troll Tracker," an attorney who blogs anonymously about patent litigation issues, calls the patent issued by the USPTO overly broad and says that its "broadest claim appears directed to a cell phone with a wireless Internet connection, a memory card, a microprocessor, a display panel for displaying Internet data." The Troll Tracker also notes the patent "has a little over four columns in the specification, but has almost 32 columns of claims."

The Minerva suit is one of several major patent-infringement suits surrounding wireless technology that have been brought against multiple companies in recent months. In September, for instance, patent-holding firm NTP sued Verizon, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile for allegedly infringing on patents related to the delivery of e-mail to mobile devices. And in November, Canadian wireless network vendor Wi-LAN sued Apple, Dell, HP and 19 others for allegedly infringing on its Wi-Fi technology patents.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brad Reed

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?