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  • Apple Looking for More Than $15 Million in Fees from a Patent Holdings Firm


    A recently filed court motion that was filed last Friday revealed that Apple is looking to garnish more than $15 million in attorneys’ fees and costs from non-practicing patent holdings firm, Unwired Planet. The firm recently engaged in a series of “kitchen-sink” lawsuits targeting iOS device connectivity features.

    Formerly known as Openwave, Unwired Planet first took action against Apple and RIM in a complaint regarding five patents filed with the US International Trade Commission in 2011. After untenable claim constructions forced the firm to abandon the ITC case, the company applied to three of the same patents to a second suit in Delaware district court and a third in Nevada.

    The Cupertino California company’s motion stems from Unwired Planet’s Nevada case where 247 claims (yes you read that right) from a total of ten patents were asserted against iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. As it stands now, much more than that can be reasonably expected to go to trial. The case ended up being transferred to the Northern District of California where Apple won a non-infringement ruling. The Cupertino California company contends the patents in suit don’t cover technology that was applied with its iOS device lineup. The folks over at Law360 reported on Apple’s most recent appeal earlier this week.

    As of right now, Apple is arguing that the litigation tactics that are being used by Unwired Planet involve conflating case details, refusing to abide by court standards and asserting an obscene number of claims in a strategy characterized as “scattershot.” Furthermore, Apple is stating that Unwired Planet knew that its portfolio wasn’t very useful and it chose to fight a “war of attrition rather than win on merit.” The filing reads the following regarding the matter:

    Nevertheless, UP asserted a menagerie of claims against Apple, presumably in the hope that something would stick and that Apple would tire of spending resources on litigating claims that would inevitably be abandoned.
    Based on the filing, the Cupertino California company spent more than $12.6 million in attorneys’ fees and about $2.5 million in non-taxable costs. Unwired Planet is also facing fees resulting from its court action in Delaware.

    For those of you who didn’t know, Unwired Planet is a firm that played a larger role in mobile Interest access technology. Its patents including claims asserted against Apple involved various methods and systems for offloading data processing operations cellphones weren’t capable of completing to intermediary servers. The company claims that it was the first Wireless Application Protocol deployment, boasting a patent portfolio that includes more than 2,500 patent assets pertaining to several mobile technologies.

    We’ll have to wait and be patient to see how things unravel, it’s likely that Apple will come out on top given its resources and previous victories in the court.

    Source: Law360 via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Looking for More Than $15 Million in Fees from a Patent Holdings Firm started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      I hope Apple wins and drains all that money from UP. I hate companies like them that "scattershot" big companies on patents to try and get a bunch of money from them, it shouldn't be aloud.
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      I hope Apple wins and drains all that money from UP. I hate companies like them that "scattershot" big companies on patents to try and get a bunch of money from them, it shouldn't be aloud.
      You have seen the number of useless patents that Apple files right?
    1. vinaygoel2000's Avatar
      vinaygoel2000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ambi_Valence View Post
      You have seen the number of useless patents that Apple files right?
      I know. Like Rounded Corners.
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      That’s my point. Patents of no real use just to stop others having them.