iStig

Apple Faces (Yet Another) Patent Lawsuit

In Apple, Dumbass on January 23, 2008 at 1:37:52 pm

So, some crappy little company in LA is suing Apple because the iPhone allegedly violates one of their patents.

The company is Minerva Industries Inc. Now, according to their website, they basically are patent trolls. They grab patents for products that might exist, but they never intend on producing said products, just holding the rights to produce them. They also haven’t updated said website since 2006, so that shows – erm – commitment.

Anyways… the patent. It’s #7,321,783, and here’s the abstract:

A mobile entertainment and communication device in a palm-held size housing has a cellular or satellite telephone capable of wireless communication with the Internet and one or more replaceable memory card sockets for receiving a blank memory card for recording data directly from the Internet and, in particular, musical performances that then can be selectively reproduced by the device for the enjoyment of the user, including both audio and visual recordings and reproductions. The device also includes a camera and microphone for recording images and sound within the range of the device that can be wirelessly transmitted, either selectively or automatically to a remote telephone. Further, the device includes sensors for sensing unusual conditions that may also be transmitted to a remote telephone, together with the location of the device as determined by a GPS section of the device.”

Now, I don’t know if anybody at Apple legal has read this patent yet, but if they have, they’re probably giggling with laughter. I’m going to go through the abstract again, but this time, I’m going to bold all of the stuff that the iPhone doesn’t have right now, and probably won’t have for a very long time (if ever):

A mobile entertainment and communication device in a palm-held size housing has a cellular or satellite telephone capable of wireless communication with the Internet and one or more replaceable memory card sockets for receiving a blank memory card for recording data directly from the Internet and, in particular, musical performances that then can be selectively reproduced by the device for the enjoyment of the user, including both audio and visual recordings and reproductions. The device also includes a camera and microphone for recording images and sound within the range of the device that can be wirelessly transmitted, either selectively or automatically to a remote telephone. Further, the device includes sensors for sensing unusual conditions that may also be transmitted to a remote telephone, together with the location of the device as determined by a GPS section of the device.

So, basically, about 70% of the patent is irrelevant. That leaves 30%. And, you’ll note that I italicized one line in there. Here it is again for reference:

[…] microphone for recording images and sound within the range of the device that can be wirelessly transmitted, either selectively or automatically to a remote telephone[…]

Now, correct me if I’m wrong here, but that sounds an awful lot like they tried to patent the cell phone. Only without the cool.

UPDATE: And I hate whomever coded this WordPress editing thing. I liked the old one more, because it actually worked in Safari. This one doesn’t. Fix it, dammit.

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