Apple loses patent-infringement trial over Cover Flow, Time Machine

“Apple has lost a patent case against its Cover Flow and Time Machine interfaces, despite some of the infringement charges from claimant Mirror Worlds being ruled invalid,” Josh Ong reports for AppleInsider.

“Mirror Worlds LLC filed the lawsuit in 2008, alleging that Apple had infringed on patents for creating “streams” of documents sorted by time. According to Bloomberg, a federal jury sided with Mirror Worlds on Friday, although specific details of the ruling were unavailable,” Ong reports. “The judgment wasn’t completely one-sided, though. Legal news site Law360 noted (registration required) in August that some of Mirror Worlds’ claims again Apple had been ruled invalid for ‘indefiniteness.'”

Ong reports, “The lawsuit was submitted to the Tyler County court in eastern Texas, an area known for favoring patent owners. In a study by Stanford Law professor Mark Lemley, an analysis of ten years of patent lawsuits revealed that the Eastern District of Texas has a higher than average claimant win percentage and a better chance of going to trial.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]

80 Comments

  1. If my damn iPhone didn’t make stupid spelling corrections, “irbid” would have been “in this”.

    But hey, maybe there’s someone who holds the patent to make these things work correctly but won’t license it to Apple. I say they should just take it.

  2. @ Gary,

    First, the patent system is completely broken. Patents are getting issued for general capabilities and extremely general implementations that are not truly unique. Some patents are actually being issued for things that make no sense at all.

    I was asked to review a patent this past week that was actually issued. A major aerospace firm was thinking about getting involved with a small company based upon some “new technology” they invented. I reviewed the underlying patent for them. The patent described a system that not only *could not work*, the description and claims actually violate *several* laws of physics!

    Also this particular court has never, as far as I have heard, held that a patent is invalid or too vague. The most it has done that is adverse to the patent holder is not support the claim. The majority of the time this court supports the patent holder’s position even if the relationship between the patent and the implied infringement is extremely tenuous.

    @ IMadMac2
    This court is a patent troll’s paradise. Sane people’s animosity toward this court has nothing to do with the concept of “Apple is God” as you put it. It has to do with this particular court being so pro patent holder that awards are made in the patent holder’s favor even in cases where the patent should be ruled invalid.

    @ all,

    I’m a patent holder. I have six patents that have been issued, and a few more in process. Each of them are very explicit in their claims. I don’t support general or nebulous patents. If someone were to explicitly and directly violate those patents I’d go after them. However, I’d go after them for specific implementations through direct and clear examples of how the infringer violated explicit claims in the patents (one patent has almost 100 claims to make it very, very clear what is and is not patented).

    Additionally, I believe the court should have sanctioned the lawyer for filing claims that were “ruled invalid for ‘indefiniteness.'” Unfortunately, this court will likely never do this.

    I will never support vague or inaccurate patents. This court does. I hope Apple appeals, if only to move the venue out of this court and get to somewhere there can be a truly sensible legal ruling can be made.

  3. @ Gary,

    First, the patent system is completely broken. Patents are getting issued for general capabilities and extremely general implementations that are not truly unique. Some patents are actually being issued for things that make no sense at all.

    I was asked to review a patent this past week that was actually issued. A major aerospace firm was thinking about getting involved with a small company based upon some “new technology” they invented. I reviewed the underlying patent for them. The patent described a system that not only *could not work*, the description and claims actually violate *several* laws of physics!

    Also this particular court has never, as far as I have heard, held that a patent is invalid or too vague. The most it has done that is adverse to the patent holder is not support the claim. The majority of the time this court supports the patent holder’s position even if the relationship between the patent and the implied infringement is extremely tenuous.

    @ IMadMac2
    This court is a patent troll’s paradise. Sane people’s animosity toward this court has nothing to do with the concept of “Apple is God” as you put it. It has to do with this particular court being so pro patent holder that awards are made in the patent holder’s favor even in cases where the patent should be ruled invalid.

    @ all,

    I’m a patent holder. I have six patents that have been issued, and a few more in process. Each of them are very explicit in their claims. I don’t support general or nebulous patents. If someone were to explicitly and directly violate those patents I’d go after them. However, I’d go after them for specific implementations through direct and clear examples of how the infringer violated explicit claims in the patents (one patent has almost 100 claims to make it very, very clear what is and is not patented).

    Additionally, I believe the court should have sanctioned the lawyer for filing claims that were “ruled invalid for ‘indefiniteness.'” Unfortunately, this court will likely never do this.

    I will never support vague or inaccurate patents. This court does. I hope Apple appeals, if only to move the venue out of this court and get to somewhere there can be a truly sensible legal ruling can be made.

  4. @ iMadMac2,

    “If my damn iPhone didn’t make stupid spelling corrections, “irbid” would have been “in this”.

    Well, maybe if you knew how to spell in the first place the iPhone wouldn’t have to try to bail out your stupid ass.

  5. @ iMadMac2,

    “If my damn iPhone didn’t make stupid spelling corrections, “irbid” would have been “in this”.

    Well, maybe if you knew how to spell in the first place the iPhone wouldn’t have to try to bail out your stupid ass.

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