Apple’s lawsuit against Google / HTC broken down

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Apple has decided that, in order to truly get ahead in the mobile space, lawsuits are the new black. We’ve weighed in with our opinion on the lawsuits. However, we’ve been getting the same question over and over: why is Apple suing Google / HTC? We’ve got the lowdown, so if you’re interested in knowing exactly what patents are in violation, be sure to hit the break and get your lawsuit groove on. Granted, these aren’t all of the infringement accusation, but they’ll give you a good idea. Don’t forget to leave us your thoughts in the comments!

Patent 5,946,647

1. A computer-based system for detecting structures in data and performing actions on detected structures, comprising:

  • an input device for receiving data;
  • an output device for presenting the data;
  • a memory storing information including program routines including
    • an analyzer server for detecting structures in the data, and for linking actions to the detected structures;
    • a user interface enabling the selection of a detected structure and a linked action; and
    • an action processor for performing the selected action linked to the selected structure; and
  • a processing unit coupled to the input device, the output device, and the memory for controlling the execution of the program routines.

8. The system recited in claim 1, wherein the user interface highlights detected structures.

15. In a computer having a memory storing actions, a method for causing the computer to perform an action on a structure identified in computer data, comprising the steps of:

  • receiving computer data;
  • detecting a structure in the data;
  • linking at least one action to the detected structure;
  • enabling selection of the structure and a linked action; and
  • executing the selected action linked to the selected structure.

19. The method recited in claim 15, wherein the memory contains strings, and wherein the step of detecting a structure further comprises the steps of retrieving a string from the memory and scanning the data to identify the string.

Patent 6,343,263

This patent is said to be so broad, that it covers faxes, wireless phones and even Internet-connected refrigerators.

Alleged violating claims:

1. A signal processing system for providing a plurality of realtime services to and from a number of independent client applications and devices, said system comprising:

  • a subsystem comprising a host central processing unit (CPU) operating in accordance with at least one application program and a device handler program, said subsystem further comprising an adapter subsystem interoperating with said host CPU and said device;
  • a realtime signal processing subsystem for performing a plurality of data transforms comprising a plurality of realtime signal processing operations; and
  • at least one realtime application program interface (API) coupled between the subsystem and the realtime signal processing subsystem to allow the subsystem to interoperate with said realtime services.

2. The signal processing system as set forth in claim 1, wherein said signal processing system receives and transmits a plurality of datatypes over a plurality of different wide area networks (WANs).

24. The signal processing system of claim 1, wherein said realtime signal processing subsystem comprises:

  • a realtime processor including an operating system for executing a plurality of realtime functions;
  • a realtime communications module which is independent of said realtime processor and is coupled to receive a plurality of communications commands from said application programs via said device handler program and said realtime API, said realtime communications module operating in response to said communications commands to issue a plurality of requests for realtime services to said realtime processor; and
  • a translation interface program which is specific to said realtime processor and is coupled to receive said requests for realtime services from said communications module and provide said requests to said realtime processor.

29. The signal processing system of claim 24, wherein said realtime processor is embodied in a hardware device and includes realtime function libraries that are embodied in programmable software.

[via huffingtonpost]

  • Martin Bryant

    Why is anyone allowed to patent such broad definitions? surely a patent should cover *what* you do and *how* you do it in a pretty specific manner. The idea of a patent is to say “I thought of this, I designed a way to make it happen, so you can’t copy me.” If someone comes along and wants to copy the *idea* then provided that they design and develop their own solution then that is OK. No?

    This is just Apple claiming to own automated hyperlinks.

    • Dhedrick

      I should patent a controlled way to create a partial vacuum using autonomic electromechanical andchemical processes to power said mechanical and chemical processes using ambient chemical gasses blah blah blah… then tell mr jobs he isn’t allowed to breathe unless he pays me a royalty. As long as I make it sound complicated enough that a patent official can’t figure out how obviously not novel it is I can make a patent on breathing and ftw

  • César Pérez

    Apple sucks.

  • dland

    I’m pretty sure these 2 patents could even be used to cover traffic signals! Our patent process is definitely broken if they reviewed these patents and found them to be “legal” in any sense of the word. Congress needs to quit fighting over who is going to pay the bills and how, and get to work fixing things like the patent office which is not working to the benefit of the American public, or pretty much anybody else either!

  • savedr

    Yeah, I don’t think Apple gets to patent regular expressions as part of iOS. Or parsing strings. Why don’t they sue Microsoft for Windows Mobile 5? It turned phone numbers into links back in like 2002.

  • Ceen

    If Apple loves lawsuits so much, they should call up Microsoft and suggest they throw one at Apple for their ‘laptops and computers’. If Apple wants to be the only smartphone maker they should at least wait until they serve every carrier to let it go to their head.

  • C4$hFlo

    Recently Accenture tried to get rid of emergent competing companies by claiming certain patents that were so broad it meant they were the only ones able to make modular insurance software. The patent they had and used in the suit was reviewed and thrown out. I believe something similar will happen here. This is akin to Ford claiming no one else can make a vehicle with 4 wheels and an engine, it would be extremely detrimental and anti-competitive.

  • Dark Penguin

    I wonder if Gutenberg’s patent will be found valid, causing all my books to disappear? IIRC Google’s also been in legal fights with the EU over orphaned intellectual works.