Apple sued for patent infringement over Numbers spreadsheet

“Apple has been sued by a Texas-based company for allegedly infringing on a patent with its Numbers spreadsheet software,” Josh Lowensohn reports for CNET.

“The complaint, which was filed on Wednesday with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Tyler Division, accuses Apple of infringing on a patent covering a ‘system and methods for improved spreadsheet interface with user-familiar objects’ with its Numbers software,” Lowensohn reports. “That patent was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1995, and now belongs to Data Engine Technologies LLC, a non-practicing entity, or what some would call a ‘patent troll.'”

Lowensohn reports, “Data Engine Technologies says Apple knew about its patent in mid-2010, and referenced it its own patent for cutting and copying spreadsheet cells, which was issued more than a decade later in 2007.”

Read more in the full article here.

45 Comments

  1. Borland’s Quatro Pro was the first to come out with notebook pages in a spreadsheet and also the first to bring ‘shrink to fit’ printing. I had it and it was a beautiful piece of software, beating Lotus 1-2-3 and Excel 4 in every category. Then Excel 5, Lotus Improv, and just about every other spreadsheet program copied it and that was that… tabbed spreadsheets were the norm. Even Berkeley GEOCalc on my Commodore 128 had tabbed spreadsheets!

    There needs to be reform in the patent litigation world. The company I work for, a small 7 employee telecomm, is being sued for infringing on a patent for sending telephone calls over a packet network… or VOIP. Every phone call in the world is trunked over VOIP networks in one way or another, including landline, cell, Skype, and FaceTime. This company found an obscure patent, bought it, and now they are collecting judgements so they can eventually go after AT&T, Sprint, and even Microsoft now that they own Skype, which basically is just a VOIP service. This company, or so it’s called, is listed in Texas and has one officer, and as far as I can find, he’s actually a Korean national. Their office is a Regis lease office in Plano with a receptionist… that’s it! But he has a high powered California lawyer (who’s also Korean) and a fistful of cash from small companies like ours. And, yes, he filed in Tyler court.

  2. And to add… I checked Data Engine Technologies listed address of 6136 Frisco Square in Frisco, and guess what… it’s a Regus office plaza. They exist on paper only.

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