Invalid iPhone Patents Get Apple Involved in Another Lawsuit
If you're not shocked that Apple is on the receiving end of another lawsuit, you're not alone. For as long as anyone can remember, the folks in Cupertino have been swatting at lawsuits like a swarm of mosquitoes buzzing around their heads. The latest legal news, however, has Apple taking fire from some within the world's largest mobile community.
If you're not well-versed in Chinese law, here's what you need to know to understand the situation in which Apple now finds itself. Chinese law dictates that it's only possible to apply for "product-specific patents." In other words, if you obtain a blanket patent for a variety of products, the Chinese will not recognize the patent and it will effectively be rendered "invalid."
Chinese-based Herron Network Information Co. has filed suit against Apple along with the Chinese Patent Bureau regarding Apple's blanket patents. According to MeizuMe: "Apple filed a patent covering three products. When the Patent Bureau saw that Apple did not specify what product the patent was for, they helped Apple register the patent for their mobile phone." The patent, however, simply pointed to a simple mobile device design with rounded edges, vertical display, and round master control button.
Apple product knock-off makers will be paying very close attention to the outcome of this latest legal skirmish as the black market for fake or cloned Apple products has become a booming business. If Apple's patent is, indeed, deemed "invalid," it could open up the floodgates for "similar" products in China.