And now for the iPhone case patent wars

“The smartphone patent wars have lit up courtrooms around the world. Next up: the smartphone case wars,” Erin Geiger Smith reports for Reuters. “The makers of protective cases that shield cell phones from coffee spills and sticky-fingered toddlers are entangled in countless lawsuits seeking to protect their designs… The smartphone case market has become a roughly $1 billion annual industry, according to NPD Group, a market research firm.”

Smith reports, “Otter Products Inc, the maker of OtterBox cases, has become a frequent visitor to the courthouse. The Colorado-based company has filed lawsuits in federal court in its home state against LifeProof, also known as Treefrog Developments Inc, and Mophie LLC for alleged patent infringement involving waterproof cases for iPhones, iPods and other devices. Mophie and LifeProof in court papers have denied the allegations.”

“The Ballistic Case Co, based in Florida, has also been a repeat plaintiff,” Smith reports. “The company has sued rivals Cell-Nerds LLC and Boxwave Corp for allegedly copying the look of its rugged ‘Shell Gel’ series of cases, which feature a dotted back and come in an array of colors.”

Read more in the full article here.</stron

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "JES42" for the heads up.]


  1. Deary me, haven’t these muppets learned *anything* from the people who’s products give them a living?
    Surely it’s not that difficult to make a box who’s external design differs from others significantly enough to avoid these issues? TakTik have managed it, so can others.

  2. Here is the problem with patents in the USA today. Common sense is totally lacking.

    1) they are not enforced. If you copy someones design 90+ %, you should be punished.

    2) Judges/juries seem more likely to protect very general patents (trolling patents) like “plastic case which wraps around unit to protect it. ” But when you use semi-soft material and use dimples to keep the phone from sliding,(90% copying) it should be protected.

    Just a thought.

  3. But while it may look silly, this is in fact what the patent system was designed to do: protect the production of a THING. it is software patents, which amount to a monopoly on a mathematical equation, that are truly obscene.

  4. A case is so silly. Most people replace their IPHONE every 2 years. I’ve never had a case and nothing has ever happened to my iphone. the Glass does not scratch, (that bad) and until recently, even cases were not waterproof. So wouldn’t it be an idea for APPLE to make the phone that DOES NOT need a case and advertise so.. they go crazy making the thinest phone, but when needed ANYONE would trade thinness for extra battery life.. so make the damn thing waterproof, advertise so, show some drop tests, and seize the market. How dumb to buy the thinnest lightest phone only to bulk it up at $40 a pop. another obvious missed market for Apple. big screen, waterproof, stereo, long battery life. all that is wanted and that people would pay more for. DONT forget 128 gigs. and CHEAP. we need the space.

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