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  • Apple Gets Sued by St. Clair: "Infringes" on Four Ridiculous Digital Camera Patents


    It appears that nothing changes over at Apple Legal. Yet again they are being sued, this time by a company called St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants. They claim that Apple's iPhone infringes on four digital camera patents that the company holds. The four include the 459, 219, 010 and 899 patents.

    459: Take image contained within lens and store in some type of memory.
    219: Display the picture that will be taken in some type of display window.
    010: Push button in order to capture image.
    899: Make images contained within some type of memory and make them viewable in some sort of digital camera roll.
    While I am no legal expert, these patents sound utterly stupid to me. I mean, isn't this what every digital camera does. What I don't understand is how these even become patents in the first place. You'd think that something like this could be used against any number of digital photography products.

    It appears St. Clair has been playing this game of patent infringement lawsuit for quite some time. In 2001, it sued Sony for infringing these same patents and won a $25 million judgement against the company. In 2003, it sued Canon and was awarded $34 million in damages. This just absolutely blows my mind. Not only are they playing this ridiculous game, they are actually winning! WTF!?

    Since they've decided to play this game, St. Clair has filed suit against every major camera maker in the entire world including Fuji, Minolta, Kyocera, Nikon, Casio and Olympus. It also filed lawsuits against Samsung, Nokia, Panasonic, LG, Kodak, HP, Motorola, RIM and Palm, and the list goes on.

    I don't know about you, but I'm getting really tired of this crap. This company can't even make it on it's own without stabbing every single company in the back and taking their moola.


    Here is a list of St Clair Intellectual Property - Justia Federal District Court Filings and Dockets



    Image from TiPB
    Source from LoopInSight
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Gets Sued Yet Again: Infringing Four Digital Camera Patents started by nickhesson View original post
    Comments 49 Comments
    1. Teoyaomqui's Avatar
      Teoyaomqui -
      Quote Originally Posted by yahoowizard View Post
      I don't see what they did wrong. I mean, it seems they came up with a lot of the ideas of the digital camera and patented it, meaning that no one else could use it without their permission. Now that they did use it, they're suing the companies after they've made some money. Yes, it's true that every digital camera uses it, but it seems all of them are violating the patent which is wrong since they own them. We just don't see this as a crime to break the patent since it's so normal for a camera to do all these things, but it's only because that it's been a lot of years.
      Second that.

      And they are not Stupid as they are making pretty good millions out of it.

      Good for them.

      And what every time someone sued apple people have to be outraged?

      Come on. Now that is stupid.
    1. riku98523's Avatar
      riku98523 -
      The reason they make so much money is because of possible losses. Since other companies make **** loads of money off of cameras using their patents they are in a sense loosing money. Obviously the whole reason they created the patents was to sue companies when digital cameras became big in the market and you may think they are *** holes for doing it but trust me they can't hear you under the piles of money they are swimming in.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Apple would do the same thing about multitouch or anything else that they have patented for that matter. Why the hell are all you fools protecting Apple?
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      hahahahahaha makes me laugh i'm gonna patent naming a person.that's how i can drop out of college and not do anything but make a crap load :P
    1. Jonbillsee's Avatar
      Jonbillsee -
      This thread is driving me crazy!

      Patents 101 for all of the St. Clair haters. You cannot patent an invention unless it is patentable subject matter, novel, and non-obvious at the time of filing for a patent.

      Patentable subject matter includes processes, machines, manufactures, and/or compositions of matter. You cannot patent an abstract idea--such as a mathematical formula--or a naturally occurring phenomena--such as electricity (e.g., lightning). However, you can patent an embodiment of a mathematical formula that performs a practical function or a process for generating electricity.

      The invention must also be novel. In other words, you cannot patent something that is already known. For example, you could not patent "using a series of buttons to purchase a snack item" because this process is probably already known.

      In addition, the invention must be non-obvious in light of known inventions. In other words, if a prior invention includes element A, and another prior invention includes element B, you cannot patent a new invention that includes only elements A and B unless it would not have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art to combine elements A and B to form the new invention.

      Also, the St. Clair patents were acquired from a company, Personal Computer Cameras (PCC), that intended to develop this technology but, instead, ran out of money and, as a result, needed to liquidate its assets, including these patents. PCC did, however, contribute research and development to the industry of digital cameras.

      The author of this article also misled you into believing that some of these patents were as simple as pushing a button to take a picture. That is absolutely false! All of the patents listed under the '459 patent are continuations of the '459 patent, which claimed taking digital photographs and storing them in solid-state memory. Because they are continuations of the '459 patent, these continuation patents are limited to the the technology claimed in the '459 patent. In other words, these continuation patents do not apply to traditional film cameras but, rather, only to digital cameras that store digital images in solid-state memory.

      Remember, the application for the '459 patent was filed in 1990. In fact, all of these patents will be expiring very soon. This technology may seem old now, but in 1990, it was cutting-edge.
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jonbillsee View Post
      This thread is driving me crazy!

      Patents 101 for all of the St. Clair haters. You cannot patent an invention unless it is patentable subject matter, novel, and non-obvious at the time of filing for a patent.

      Patentable subject matter includes processes, machines, manufactures, and/or compositions of matter. You cannot patent an abstract idea--such as a mathematical formula--or a naturally occurring phenomena--such as electricity (e.g., lightning). However, you can patent an embodiment of a mathematical formula that performs a practical function or a process for generating electricity.

      The invention must also be novel. In other words, you cannot patent something that is already known. For example, you could not patent "using a series of buttons to purchase a snack item" because this process is probably already known.

      In addition, the invention must be non-obvious in light of known inventions. In other words, if a prior invention includes element A, and another prior invention includes element B, you cannot patent a new invention that includes only elements A and B unless it would not have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art to combine elements A and B to form the new invention.

      Also, the St. Clair patents were acquired from a company, Personal Computer Cameras (PCC), that intended to develop this technology but, instead, ran out of money and, as a result, needed to liquidate its assets, including these patents. PCC did, however, contribute research and development to the industry of digital cameras.

      The author of this article also misled you into believing that some of these patents were as simple as pushing a button to take a picture. That is absolutely false! All of the patents listed under the '459 patent are continuations of the '459 patent, which claimed taking digital photographs and storing them in solid-state memory. Because they are continuations of the '459 patent, these continuation patents are limited to the the technology claimed in the '459 patent. In other words, these continuation patents do not apply to traditional film cameras but, rather, only to digital cameras that store digital images in solid-state memory.

      Remember, the application for the '459 patent was filed in 1990. In fact, all of these patents will be expiring very soon. This technology may seem old now, but in 1990, it was cutting-edge.
      i dont know why but i loved this thank you so much for this hahaha. you are so angry i love it
    1. Mad Ferret's Avatar
      Mad Ferret -
      Actually 010 isn't going anywhere, as you tap the screen to take the picture, not press a button.
    1. JAG2621's Avatar
      JAG2621 -
      To me thats like filing a patent saying " A device to transport people and things with a gasoline powered engine and four wheels" Then suing every automobile manufacturers. The patents are ridiculous. Or " a device that is portable to connect to the internet" then lets sue all cell phone and laptop producers. I cannot believe that they winning the lawsuits. Oh well just my opinion.
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      Yeah it seems that way ti us so it's rediculous butjonbillsee had a great point at the time it was craziness that we could do that stuff seriously same with automobiles how crazy was itthat now we could do that? Now it seems like an obvious thing but at the time not at all and with portable Internet devices