Apple Can't Nix Claims of Suspected Patent Troll
(CN) - Apple must still face claims from an accused "patent troll" that says it infringed on technology for screen-rotation and call-rejection features, a federal judge ruled.
MobileMedia Ideas has said that Apple's iOS devicees infringe on 30 claims of 10 patents, according to the federal complaint in Delaware.
The Delaware-based MobileMedia claims that it acquired the rights to the patents from a deal with Sony and Nokia in January 2012. Tech reporters have dubbed MobileMedia a "classic patent troll," noting that the company makes claims to more than 300 patents but produces none.
The 10 patents in suit with Apple relate to a variety of technologies in information processing, computing, mobile phones and media-player devices.
The '068, '075 and '231 patents relate to technology for rejecting, silencing and merging incoming second calls on cellphones already connected to a first call.
When an iPhone receives a second incoming call during an initial call, the phone displays several icons when a user taps the "Hold Call + Answer" icon.
MobileMedia has taken issue with how the display changes after the user taps icon.
The '075 and '068 patents also cover "rejecting incoming calls," and call-processing techniques, like call waiting and call hold services. More specifically, the patents involve how these functions are communicated wirelessly between base stations and landline telecommunications networks.
MobileMeida claims the iPhone infringes this patent because a user can tap "decline" or "ignore" to decline an incoming second call.
The '078 and '394 patents relate to changeable keys and cameras on mobile devices.
The '828 patent involves changing display orientation so that the display image is always upright. Apple claims its iOS devices uses internal sensors to detect movement and communicate with applications, whereas the MobileMedia patent requires a user to press buttons to rotate images.
The '155 patent relates to a method and apparatus for obtaining navigation guidance.
The '170, '942, and '430 patents pertain to multimedia. The '170 patent is for compressing and expanding audio data; the '942 patent is for portable audio storage and playback; and the '430 patent relates to audio and video playlists.
Last week, U.S. District Sue Robinson granted Apple partial summary judgment. The 105-page order and opinion concludes that all asserted claims of the '828 and '942 patents are invalid.
It also awards a judgment of noninfringement to Apple regarding three claims of the '068 patent, and all claims of the '231 and '394 patents.
MobileMedia meanwhile persuaded the judge to rule against Apple's defenses of "waiver, laches and/or estoppel. Apple can also not use prosecution history estoppel as an affirmative defense, according to the court.
Robinson also entered a judgment of no invalidity for "all asserted claims of the '068 patent and with respect to no anticipation of all asserted claims of the '075, '394, and '155 patents."