Apple sued over iPhone proximity sensor in new patent troll lawsuit

“511 Innovations, Inc. is the latest patent troll to file a complaint against Apple with the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, claiming that the iPhone’s proximity sensor infringes upon five of its patents,” Joe Rossignol reports for MacRumors.

Rossignol reports, “The asserted patents, filed between 1999 and 2012, relate to various methods for measuring optical characteristics of an object, such as color spectrums, translucence, gloss, and position detection.”

“511 Innovations is a Texas-based non-practicing entity that does not appear to sell any sensor-related products, but instead seeks to enforce its patented technologies through litigation,” Rossignol reports. “Eastern Texas is a common district for patent holding firms to target larger companies like Apple…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hooray, once again, for the Rocket Docket! (sarcasm)


  1. The claims I read in these patents are overly broad. They are basically claiming any means of using light to determine distance from a sensor to an object, and, in fact, to determine any characteristic of that object! That is the very definition of too broad. There is no way their invention can do everything they claim it can.

  2. Patent trolls are go after everyone. Watch this video from the developer of X-Plane. He’s been hit with a patent suit. It will drive you crazy what these people are doing and how they are doing it.

    1. I already knew about this problem, but that video still made my blood boil. This is completely unacceptable. The rest of the world should deny the legality of cases through this docket and tell the U.S. to stick it.

  3. That was one terrifying video. I’m not sure what can be done as I do not live in the USA, however this is probably one of the most important issues that the lawmakers in the US need to address in regards to technology. The fact that judges could (are) seeing their progeny in a court case should be be just cause that one or the othe be recused from any case. From my viewpoint (as a person from another country) this is not justice, something that we expect from the ‘land of the free; home of the brave”! Thank you for sharing this video, it was extremely educational.

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