Quantum backs down, says it is not prepping Apple iPhone lawsuit

“Quantum Research Group Ltd., a developer of capacitive sensors for user interfaces, has denied it is preparing a legal suit against Apple regarding Apple’s iPhone,” Peter Clarke reports for EE Times.

Quantum said in a statement:

Quantum has no knowledge of any infringement by Apple of Quantum’s patents in regard to the iPhone or any other product other than those products alleged to be infringing in our 2005 lawsuit against Apple and Cypress Semiconductor, specifically the Powerbook trackpad, Mighty Mouse, and iPod Nano scroll wheel.

Until the iPhone product is made available for public sale, we have to make the operating assumption that no Quantum patents have been violated.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Stoo” for the heads up.]
Sounds like they got a call from Apple’s legal team.

Related articles:
Quantum Research warns Apple over iPhone – February 20, 2007
Quantum Research Group sues Apple over iPod Click Wheel charge-transfer tech – January 22, 2007


  1. This doesn’t sound like they backed down to me. It sounds like they’re waiting for the iPhont to be released and a few million sold before they try to grab the $$. How can you claim financial harm was done to your company by an unreleased product? Just like all the others did with the iPod. They’ll wait until they can establish an amount owed based on the amount of $$ Apple made selling their devices, then they’ll file the suite. Don’ you think?

  2. Actually, this is what they said from the very beginning. They were clear in stating that they would be looking very closely to see if any infringment had occurred, but would not be able to do so until the product shipped. They didn’t BACK DOWN on anything. The net press however, seem to be very good at reading into things and making asumptions in order to get hits by roiling the waters of truth…

  3. Right now Quantum can’t claim that Apple violated any of its patents because it can’t examine an iPhone. After iPhone comes out, expect Quantum to come back into the picture. They’re bascially blackmailing Apple by saying, “We think you used our technology, so you better get ready to pay us off.”

  4. Apple has over 200 patents on the iPhone, and they will make sure they enforce them.

    For sure, they don’t want the Mac/Windows “Gaffe” to repeat.

    I’d be very careful about suing Apple in regards of the iPhone.

  5. WRONG.

    They are just awaiting the iPhone to ship, then they will file. If they sue now, then they give away the info Apple would need to avoid a lawsuit. Apple would simply change the spec of the iPhone to remove and pantent infringement before shipping the iPhone.

    If they wait, then they get Apple with thier pants down.

    p.s. I do not pre-assume that the iPhone violates any Quantum patents. I am only stating the mindset of Quantum.

  6. Here’s the obvious question: How can it be that a company like Apple, with vast resources, can’t make a completely authoritative determination in advance about any device, process, etc. they wish to patent? Is the main patent database constructed in such a way that it cannot be searched exhaustively in a timely fashion? If this were the case, how could this state of affairs be allowed to continue? And if not, then how can Apple’s research experts not know about every prior patent that has the potential to impact a new product? The way obscure companies can just crawl out of the woodwork these days waving their patents around is really intolerable. Patent law should require people to DO SOMETHING with their ideas in order to hold onto their patent rights.

  7. >alansky wrote: Patent law should require people to DO SOMETHING with their ideas in order to hold onto their patent rights.

    Quantam’s patent existed already and was licensed by Apple.

    The possible wrong-doing is that Apple may have used the technology and processes without Quantam’s permission and obviously without compensation to the patent owner.

    Quantam cannot prove this without a working model of the iPhone.

    DO SOMETHING – They did. They actively license their technology.

    The vast majority of patent owners do not manufacture goods themselvers. Licensing out the technology is generally more lucrative and beneficial to the world.

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