“A patent troll that has sued more than 80 companies by laying broad claims to Internet-connected ‘wearables’ may be nearing the end of its road,” Joe Mullin writes for Ars Technica.
“The patent appeals board at the US Patent and Trademark Office has agreed to reconsider 16 patent claims owned by Sportbrain Holdings, LLC. The Patent Office’s decision comes just three days after Sportbrain filed a lawsuit against Apple,” Mullin writes. “Taking on its highest-profile target yet, Sportbrain claims that the Apple Watch violates US Patent No. 7,454,002, titled ‘Integrating personal data capturing functionality into a portable computing device and a wireless communication device.'”
“Beginning in January 2016, Sportbrain unleashed a torrent of lawsuits against companies with connected watches and other wearables, like Garmin, Fitbit, Pebble, and Nike (PDF). It also sued tech companies like Apple, Samsung, and HP, and watchmakers including Timex, Tag Heuer, and Nixon,” Mullin writes. “A petition for inter partes review (IPR) against the ‘002 patent was filed last year by Unified Patents, a defense-oriented patent company that bills itself as ‘The Anti-Troll.’ It was part of Unified’s campaign to challenge the “three most prolific patent trolls” of 2016: Sportbrain, Shipping and Transit, and Uniloc USA. The case against Sportbrain Holdings has passed a key hurdle, with the Patent Office agreeing last week to institute an investigation over all 16 of the claims in the ‘002 patent.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Yet another patent that should have never been issued in the first place.