Apple Being Sued Over Quick Look Feature Found in the Mac OS X
The non-practicing entity, WhitServe, recently filed a complaint against Apple claiming that the Quick Look function found in a number of OS X iteration infringes on its file viewing patent from 2011. In its claim, WhitServe alleges that Quick Look violates the company’s U.S. Patent No. 7,921,139 for a “System for sequentially opening and displaying files in a directory,” which was applied for in 2006 and granted in April of 2011.
Apple originally introduced Quick Look in Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard,” which debuted at the Worldwide Developers Conference in October 2007. The feature allows users to view the contents of a folder or file without opening the specific application that created it. Files that are supported include PDF, QuickTime, Pages, Text and others. The function still remains active on all current Macs and can be accessed via the space bar for those of you who didn't already know.
The ‘139 patent offers a similar solution, using software to open and close files in a near-full view mode, which happened to be a big improvement on the thumbnail-based technology of the day. Also noted in the patent’s language is a system to browse said files, called the file selector module, which can move through previews in sequential order. Unlike Apple’s invention, the ‘139 patent does allow users to edit documents and view multiple files at once, giving it more functionality than the Quick Look feature we are used to right now.
WhitServe continues to claim that it licenses the patent’s technology to undisclosed companies and alleges that Apples infringement is causing irreparable harm as it is “not fully compensable by money damages.” The company is seeking damages and court fees from Apple as well as a permanent injunction against the features implementation in OS X.