Apple sued for patent infringement over iPhone caller ID tech

“A Massachusetts inventor is suing Apple Inc., saying the company is illegally using his caller identification technology in the popular iPhone,” Hiawatha Bray reports for The Boston Globe Staff.

“The lawsuit, filed last Friday in US District Court in Boston, pits one of the world’s leading technology companies against an independent inventor whose patent is already licensed by many of Apple’s biggest competitors in the cellphone business, Bray reports.

“Romek Figa of Hanover, a 1971 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, operates Abraham & Son, an electronics consulting business. During the 1980s, Figa teamed up with two other inventors on a personalized caller ID system,” Bray reports.

“Lawyer Lisa Tittemore of Bromberg & Sunstein LLP in Boston, the firm representing Figa, said many of the world’s wireless phone makers have licensed the patent, including the three biggest – Motorola Inc., Samsung Group, and Nokia Corp.,” Bray reports.

“‘Apple was contacted about a license, but the parties were not able to agree on acceptable terms,’ Tittemore said,” Bray reports.

“Figa’s lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and asks that the damage amount be tripled because of Apple’s ‘willful and deliberate’ patent infringement,” Bray reports.

More in the full article here.


  1. If you want to hold your patent, you must defend it. While I am not privy to the terms requested, I would expect them to be similar to what everyone else was asked to pay … thus making it a “fair and reasonable” price. Of course, Apple has had a way with bargaining “standard prices” down. Music, movies, TV shows … all the same. “We can deliver this for less” so, “let’s deal”.


  2. Did someone patent on how you answer a phone call? “hello” patent # 554546465465464564646. Or “Whats up” patent #56456465465465464646464 or .. Did someone also patent how many rings a phone must make before it goes into voicemail? That would be cool. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Let me educate you patent neophytes: All this fellow has to do is demonstrate that Apple infringes just ONE of the claims of the patent for Apple to be in trouble. My guess is they will pay him something to go away.

  4. I agree altivec guru LOL

    I wonder how true some of these accusations are? Didn’t someone try to sue them over the tough screen function or something along that matter? I haven’t heard anything about that since…..

    Maybe it’s just another get rich quick scheme.. I mean seriously… who would ask to tripple the cost of damages. It’s just a license, it’s not like they would be losing anything really. How many companies right now can you actually pick what voicemail you want to choose? Ive had a phone from every provider and the iphone is the only one I know of so far that does it. I have had blackberry’s and treo’s along with small nonsmart phones. I’d really like to see how this rolls over.

    Maybe the guy forgot to see that apple has 18.5 billion dollars they could use a little of for court costs.

    just my 2 cents

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