Apple sued over iPad Smart Cover

“A Colorado man says Apple’s smart cover for the new iPad and the iPad 2 violate his 2005 patent for a ‘Portable Computer Case,'” Jeff John Roberts reports for paidContent.

“Aspen resident Jerald Bovino filed a lawsuit in federal court asking Apple and retailer Target to pay royalties for using his technology,” Roberts reports. “The claim is based on US patent 6,977,809 which describes an “integral case” that attaches to a computer… [Apple’s] iPad Smart Cover, which sells for $39.95, attaches to Apple tablets with a magnet and covers the [iPad] screen.”

Roberts reports, “In a coincidence, the Patently Apple blog reported this week that the company received a design patent for the iPad cover.”

Read more in the full article here.

Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple, “On the surface, this certainly looks like a classic David and Goliath case”

“Individual Jerald Bovino is taking on Apple claiming that the iPad Smart Cover infringes on his ‘portable computer case’ patent,” Purcher reports. “Bovino is seeking a royalty from Apple and/or $100,000.”

Purcher reports, “It’s very difficult to understand why Bovino thinks that there’s a solid case against Apple with patent 6,977,809. Especially in light of Apple being a granted a patent for the iPad Smart Cover on April 24, 2012.”

Read more in the full article here.

21 Comments

  1. Kinda lame that he or Apple can have a patent for a computer case. We will have to see where this lawsuit goes, maybe he’ll win maybe he will lose.

  2. I read his patent. The Smart cover is non infringing as his patent states the case covers the entirety of the “computer” surface. The smart cover only covers the face, the back of the iPad is unprotected. Moreover, the definition of “ribs”, as shown by the diagrams is different. The smart case has “valleys” for bending. His “ribs” are elevations to provide added “bumpers”. Also describes a handle for carrying the case…. if you’ve ever tried using the smart cover for that purpose, you probably bought a new iPad since it very easily detaches. The patented is also so obvious it should never have been issued.

  3. Seems to me a unique feature of the Smart Cover is the magnets that wake and put the iPad to sleep. And such a cover was not even possible until Apple provided the necessary iPad hardware. So how could anyone have invented the Smart Cover before Apple revealed theirs along with the iPad 2 that it works on?

  4. Aspen is a lovely place. Tall mountains, lots of trees and in the winter, heaps of ski bunnies.

    However, I am not sure if it is the hotbed of top flight – thoroughly in tune, up-to-the-minute patent lawyers. Sooooo, I think Mr Bovino (who may want to change his name after this – or maybe he is used to spreading the bull) is being taken for a ride on the “I can getcha a million dollars for that never-been-sucessful sitting-in-the-bottom drawer of your fridge almost patent” ploy.

    I am sure there will be a big “L” branded on his forehead…

    Cheers…

  5. I read his patent application and his is a case for a laptop that never has to be detached from the computer. It is meant to protect the outside of the computer. The smart cover is meant to protect the screen of an iPad and provide a stand for use while typing, watching movies, etc. This lawsuit will probably get thrown out before it even goes to the court room.

  6. Bovino has a patent, Apple has a patent AND a real, tangible shipping product.

    Bovinos ribs are for structure enforcement (stiffness), Apple’s valleys are for flexibility. In Bovinos case, I think dust covers on hardback books qualify as prior art.

  7. “It’s very difficult to understand why Bovino thinks that there’s a solid case against Apple with patent 6,977,809. Especially in light of Apple being a granted a patent for the iPad Smart Cover on April 24, 2012.”

    It’s not difficult to understand at all. Bovino’s patent is a utility patent, and Apple’s patent is a design patent. Still, I doubt he’ll be successful. His invention seems to be the use of resilient ribs, which Apple’s cover doesn’t have.

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