Latest in Apple

Image credit:

Patent suit du jour involves videophone features, hits Apple and AT&T

Mel Martin
05.26.11
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

For non-practicing entities -- companies that make a living purely out of holding patents and then licensing them to and/or suing companies that actually make things -- business is good (as usual). The latest NPE strike, reported by FOSS Patents, means that Apple, AT&T and US Cellular are getting hit with lawsuits saying the companies are infringing videophone patents.

The suit, filed by Visual Interactive Phone Concepts Inc. in a Michigan District Court, says the use of a "videophone interactive mailbox facility system and method of processing information" violates two patents.

The patents in question aren't very detailed, and seem to be more a vague method than an invention. The allegations claim that the 2 cellular companies and Apple services "act as a mailbox facility system." Well, OK then. Since the claim is so generic, it's likely other mobile phone OS and hardware vendors that include video calling functionality in their products will be sued as well.

VIPS Inc. previously reached settlements with the targets of patent suits in 1999 and 2007. We'll see how Apple and AT&T choose to respond, and whether they think the cost of litigation will outweigh the cost of simply biting the bullet and licensing these patents.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget’s guide to Home Entertainment

Engadget’s guide to Home Entertainment

View
Hulu brings 4K content to the Xbox One

Hulu brings 4K content to the Xbox One

View
What's on TV this week: 'Watchmen'

What's on TV this week: 'Watchmen'

View
Ford's remote car starting and unlocking are available for free

Ford's remote car starting and unlocking are available for free

View
Facebook's Libra loses one more member as its council becomes official

Facebook's Libra loses one more member as its council becomes official

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr