Apple heads to trial against man claiming to have invented iPhone

“Apple Inc., the world’s most valuable technology company, faces a trial over claims by a California inventor that a patent he holds covers key features of the iPhone,” Edvard Pettersson reports for Bloomberg News.

“Apple maintains the NetAirus Technologies LLC patent is invalid because the technology was known long before the company filed its patent. Cupertino, California-based Apple, which three weeks ago defeated patent holder Wi-Lan Inc. at trial over a $248 million royalty demand for wireless technology used in mobile devices, has won pretrial rulings that cap any recovery NetAirus may win,” Pettersson reports. “The company owned by inventor Richard L. Ditzik filed the patent application in 1997 for a handheld device that combines computer and wireless-communications functions over both a local-area network and a wide-area network. Jury selection started today in Los Angeles federal court in the lawsuit, filed 3 1/2 years ago by NetAirus.”

MacDailyNews Take: Fast-tracked.

Pettersson reports, “Apple said in court filings that its Newton message pad, with add-on hardware, could perform the same functions as those claimed by NetAirus’s patent as early as 1994. ‘The technology at issue was so well known at the time NetAirus filed its patent, that independent patent watchdogs have made NetAirus’s patent a poster child in the movement to limit the proliferation of facially invalid patents,’ Apple said in its July 2011 request to throw out the case… The case is NetAirus Technologies LLC v. Apple Inc., 10-03257, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
NetAirus Technologies sues Apple, says entire iPhone concept infringes on its patent – May 4, 2010


    1. If this guy wins he’s going to receive hate mail from 100 million people, lawsuits from 150 million, and a love letter from me to a fellow who’s proved my theorem that there exists no lower bound to the set of scoundrels.

  1. I hope that he wins because I placed a 50¢ bet saying he would. With odds at 5 trillion to one I’d be set for retirement. But in the likely case Apple wins I’m only out 50¢.

    As a side note, where do these clowns keep coming from??

    1. When you got billy-yuns of dollars, everyone comes out of the woodwork and tries to take it. “Lucky” for me I don’t have to worry about that problem, (other than the government taxing me to take a big chunk of what little I do have).

    1. I’m not sure they are idiots. It only takes one “win” to be set for life.

      Its a twisted lotto that sadly hurts the losers when trolls win but if you look at a company like Lodsys I wouldn’t say the guy is an idiot he has pocketed millions from taking companies to court over crap patents.

      1. That “win” if it occurs will likely take a $10 million chunk of legal and court fees by the time it is done.

        Hence if NetAirus looses the patent fight, whoever bought into the patent/patent fight & put up that money is OUT.

  2. It’s the year 2020. Apple is a broken bankrupt corporation far from the roaring success that Steve Jobs left it at. On the stand is one Jonathan Ive, Apple’s erstwhile software designer with an amateur’s flair for the dramatic, only that iOS 15 looks like a regressive school project designed by a bunch of kindergarten lollipop suckers.

    Upon being questioned by the judge, Ive pleads guilty. “Your honor, I am guilty of all charges laid before me: destroyer of iOS 6, wrecker of lifelike gorgeous icons, smasher of beautiful symbolic visual cues. Guilty as charged My Lord.”

    Judge: “Then I shall sentence you to 10 years of living in Scott Forstall’s basement. Bailiff, take the defendant away.”

  3. Apple is right .
    I used to do literature searches on a Newton wired to a cell phone in that era .It was kind of cool because the Newton and the Motorola shared a folding leather case .
    I even had a GPS hooked up to the thing at one point .

  4. “…a handheld device that combines computer and wireless-communications functions over both a local-area network and a wide-area network..” Wouldn’t that cover Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek ‘Communicator’? Maybe his estate ought to sue NetAirus.

    Next NetAirus will patent the “Flux Capacitor” and “1.21 Jigawatts”

  5. I want to know what dumb shit lawyer (oops, I was redundant) took this case. I doubt if the dude doing the suing can afford to pay for the high class lawyer (oops, there is a dichotomy) required to even file such a suit. There is more here than meets the eye. Google behind this?

      1. While you are absolutely right about that case, it still irks most people that individuals don’t take responsibility for their own actions; particularly when they are making conscious choices to participate in hazardous behavior (drinking hot beverages while operating a motor vehicle). Eating and driving, drinking and driving, texting and driving, consuming hot beverages and driving; suing other people for having only a peripheral part in their own risky behavior just smacks of callous opportunism. Kind of like suing someone who has a lot of money, in the hopes that they will just give you some of it to go away.

  6. Gotta hate the incompetence of the US Patent Office. How the frack did this clown’s patent ever get approved?

    Again, what we need is for the US Patent Office to pay for ALL patent trial costs when patents are determined to be INVALID. It’s basic responsibility for one’s actions. Or is that concept too intelligent for #MyStupidGovernment? 😛

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