511 Innovations, Inc., a “patent troll,” has filed a lawsuit against Apple with the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, claiming that the iPhone's proximity sensor infringes upon five of its patents, reports Mac Rumors.
The asserted patents, filed between 1999 and 2012, relate to various methods for measuring optical characteristics of an object, such as color spectrums, translucence, gloss, and position detection. 511 Innovations wants a jury trial and is seeking damages in the form of a “reasonable royalty,” plus interest and fees, in addition to a permanent U.S. sales ban on iPhones and all other infringing products and services. Well, good luck with that.
A patent troll is an individual or an organization that purchases and holds patents for unscrupulous purposes such as stifling competition or launching patent infringement suits. In legal terms, a patent troll is a type of non-practicing entity: someone who holds a patent but is not involved in the design or manufacture of any product or process associated with that patent.