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Summary:

In a surprise ruling, a Delaware jury has found that Apple’s iPhone infringed on three patents issued in the early 2000′s. The verdict is the latest incident of a global patent battle that appears to have gotten out of hand.

Steve Jobs with iphone

The ongoing war over smartphone patents has just taken a new twist as a Delaware jury this week ruled that Apple’s iPhone infringes three patents for range of functions such as cameras, batteries and answering calls.

The U.S. Patent Office issued two of the patents to Nokia in 2000 and 2002 and the other to Sony in 2001. Records show that the companies transferred the patents to a shell company called MobileMedia in 2010 which then proceeded to sue major players in the phone industry, including Apple, Google, HTC and Research in Motion.

The three patents in question appear to be exceptionally broad and at least one title reads like gibberish. They are U.S. Patent 6253075 (“Method and Apparatus for Incoming Call Rejection”), U.S. Patent 6427078 (“Device for personal communication, data collection and data processing… also comprises a camera unit”) and U.S. Patent 6070068 (“Communication terminal device and method for controlling the connecting state of a call into a desired connection state upon a predetermined operation by a user”).

The jury’s verdict, which was first reported by Bloomberg, is reproduced below. So far, court records do not show that the jury has made any damages finding against Apple. The company has yet to offer a statement but it is likely to appeal the ruling.

The Delaware jury finding comes at a time when many, including the companies themselves, are acknowledging the patent battles are getting out of hand. Many of the patents used to fuel the litigation date from the early 2000′s when the patent office had a reputation for granting patents on nearly anything (including a method for swinging on a swing).

Jury Verdict Against Apple Copy

  1. Why was the ruling a surprise?
    As you sow, so you reap.

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  2. Wow Jeff, could you be any more dismissive of anything that goes against the mighty Apple?

    Nokia built the cell phone industry and had tens of thousands of key patents, before Apple even considered starting a cell phone project. But no, Nokia must be full of it and all of their patents from the beginning of the cell phone era are gibberish.

    This article is the definition of a blind religious follower….

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    1. So, maybe you should talk about the patents that apple lost to.
      The first one linked is about blocking calls with memory automatically or with a “predetermined action” from the user. Programs run “in memory” and machines run by predetermined actions. Pretty much every phone maker will loser to this if it is an actionable patent.
      The second patent is again a predetermined but not defined action. The true problem with patents is what you can get a patent for, not just patents in general.
      It’s almost like if I applied for a patent about making eggs by saying “at some point in the process the chef will crack the eggs in a predetermined fashion.”
      Weak patents.

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  3. Apple’s patent on rounded rectangles is gibberish

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  4. So it’s a bad thing when other companies try to take down the mighty apple, but when they go on their sue streak on silly things like shape, or sounds, it’s ok? what’s next? Letters? Numbers?

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  5. tell me an Apple patent that is not gibberish.
    rounded rectangle, or touching with multiple fingers.
    At least these 3 patents seems more technical.

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  6. In my business I’m having solar panels manufactured with rounded corners. So sue me, Apple ;p

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  7. Nathan Lundholm Thursday, December 13, 2012

    Apple is finally getting a taste of their own medicine for suing everyone all the time! This is great!

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  8. What hilarious and stale comments.

    Time to move on otherwise you are as passe as 5h3 80′s

    What a bunch of haters.

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  9. Apple thought they were untouchable. Sucks to be them. I use to be a big apple supporter and even at one point had many of their devices until they took things to a new level by being whiny babies. I’m glad it made me realize there were much better things out there and sticking up for them was the biggest mistake one could make. The company has fallen big time in terms of keeping up with the rest of the tech companies such as Google and Microsoft. Enjoy your crappy overpriced girly looking devices. Stay classy, CRAPple.

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  10. (Although there is no direct indication of this in the article..) When Apple is at the receiving end of a patent violation, should we conclude that patent fights are getting out of hand (whose hands anyway?) — or should we say that the kettle is as black as the pot ?

    I think it is time for a world-wide call to Apple to grow up – and urge them to take the fight from the courts to the market place.

    Dear Apple, we love your products and the way you bring them to market, but do not mistake that love as a consequence of any original technology from your labs – or any kind of technology innovation – or any such crap. The technology gene pool is completely hybrid, so do not even try claiming to be one of a kind. You are not. You might have superior sales skills and amazing biz models, but you seriously need to get out of the technology reality distortion field that your legendary ex CEO seriously believed in. Grow up, live and let live.

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