Apple sued for their entire lineup of touch-related products

“A Pennsylvania company by the name of FlatWorld has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in the California Northern District Court in San Francisco,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple. “The patent infringement lawsuit concerns Apple’s entire line-up of touch related products.”

“Once again, a company is suing Apple regarding touch technology that doesn’t relate to Apple’s multi-touch technology in any way,” Purcher reports. “The patent background states that the inventor ‘developed a testing tool with a touch screen programmed to allow children to directly manipulate or move objects on the screen, and ‘hide’ them behind other objects.'”

Purcher writes, “It’s very difficult to understand how this relates to any of Apple’s iDevices or Magic Mouse for that matter. In my opinion, it’s simply a bizarre stretch. It’s also difficult for the average Joe to understand how a company who took assignment of a patent for the sole purpose of suing others can actually claim that they’ve been ‘damaged’ in any way by products for which they have no equivalents.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. I hope the court is smart enough to look at this and flatly toss it out on its ear because if they actually had anything that was being violated they should have come forth at least 5 years earlier. This is a simple case of a company that has no products wanting to somehow cash out on a company that actually makes products with a different technology that has its own patents for with the only similarity is that there is some touch involved. Patent laws need to change to stop this non-sense of companies which have no products from being able to gain from companies that work hard and make real products. If you don’t have any products out for sale then there cannot be any damage, period!!

    1. Yes, I agree. But it is not enough. I believe most people are so tired of this ‘sue’ mentality. I for one am. We have got to get to a point to where if you are not prepared to pay all legal bills should you be found ‘frivously’ suing, then this ceap will continue.

      Now who determines that, I don’t know. It is a complete waste of time, resources & time.

  2. Why only Apple?
    Touch screen technology was invented before pen based screens; before the Apples’ Newton.
    This company needs not to only isolate Apple but attack all the rest.

    I don’t think this case will see 1 day in court.

      1. Sorry, fat fingers on small phone. LOL
        I was saying that the objects being hidden and moved is basic to the Mac so prior art applies. The rest is how and this patent uses motion sensors on the edge of the display not a cap screen.

        PS, the inventor sold the patents. Its the patent troll company that is morality lacking.

  3. Get rid of the trial lawyers – plus make the courts like in England – the loser of a lawsuit pays the other party, including their costs. After all, didn’t the USA get their laws from England originally?

    They must’ve forgot this one, or a bunch of ambulance chasers changed it.

    1. “After all, didn’t the USA get their laws from England originally?”

      I believe that in the U.S. the authorities have to prove your guilt, not that the accused have to prove their innocence as in England. Bit of a difference.

      But, the idea of getting rid of any lawyers is always big in my book.

      1. Check your facts buddy.

        The US inherited the basic English laws including presumed innocence, trial by jury of peers etc. They did not adopt the wigs which is probably a good thing.

        The last time you had to prove your innocence was in medieval times especially if you were a witch and had to prove you don’t weigh the same as a duck.

        1. Yeah, I couldn’t find anything to back that up; seems like I had heard it years ago and didn’t bother to confirm. My bad. Lucky for me I never wanted to be a lawyer.

          1. Most European Law is based on the Napoleonic code where you have to prove your innocence, UK law is based on Common Law where your accuser must prove guilt.

  4. Just a comment about patents…a patent owner doesn’t have to show damage to prevail in court. A patent is a limited duration government granted monopoly to practice the patented invention. Whether there is “damage” is irrelevant to an infringement claim. It’s a matter of ownership, not use. It’s like owning a vacation home that you don’t use. Just because you’re not there doesn’t mean someone else can break in live in it.

  5. The inventor doesn’t have a prayer. It was filed in 2007—after tons of prior touchscreen patents had been issued. The inventor’s patent pertains to having images vanish if one touches it, drags it, and exceeds a threshold velocity. And every single one of his patent claims is built upon his first claim, which reads as follows:

    What is claimed is:

    1. A system for manipulating images comprising a screen upon which an image is displayed; and a computer coupled to the screen, the computer causing the images to be manipulated in response to location inputs from a pointing device, the system being characterized in that: when the image is being dragged in response to the location inputs and the system detects that the velocity with which the image is being dragged exceeds a threshold velocity, the system responds by removing the image from the display without leaving any representative thereof in the display.

    Apple will just cream this guy.

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