Another day, another lawsuit. Non-practicing entity Ironworks Patents has filed a lawsuit against Apple, hoping to claim up to 12.5 cents per iPhone for U.S. patents originally belonging to Sony and Nokia, reports AppleInsider.
One of the patents, from Sony, covers the ring silencing feature on cellphones, and was filed in 2001 with a 1994 priority date. Two Nokia patents cover silent alarms, including vibrations, and were filed in 2000 and 2004. The suit is effectively a continuation of a case brought by MobileMedia.
Last September, a federal jury in Delaware hit Apple with a $3 million damages verdict after ruling that some of the company’s iPhone models infringe a MobileMedia Ideas owned patent covering incoming phone call alert sounds. MobileMedia sued Apple in 2010, claiming it infringed 14 patents for electronics.
In December 2012, a U.S. jury ruled that Apple’s iPhone infringed three patents owned by holding company MobileMedia Ideas, though damages have not yet been determined. In court filings, Apple asked a judge to rule that MobileMedia’s patents are invalid as a matter of law, and that there is no “legally sufficient” basis to find MobileMedia has proven infringement.
MobileMedia Ideas is the patent portfolio licensor of inventions adopted by manufacturers of smart phones, mobile phones and other portable devices including personal computers, laptops, netbooks, person. Some might call the suing companies “patent trolls.”