Will Apple Lose to This Major Patent-Licensing Company?
Patent-licensing company DataQuill has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) after the Cupertino-based company declined to purchase a license to the company’s multiple cellular telecommunications patents reports Patently Apple. The British Virgin Islands-based company accuses the iPhone maker of violating five of its patents.
According to its website, DataQuill holds multiple patents relating to “the use of information exchange and information download over cellular telecommunications networks. These patents mainly centre on merchandising and the provision of services.” It also states that its patented technology has been licensed to nearly a dozen major companies, including Motorola, Nokia (NYSE:NOK), and Research in Motion.
Patently Apple notes that DataQuill has hauled in over $75 million in licensing revenue over the past twelve years. In its filing via Patently Apple, DataQuill states that, “Apple has marketed, promoted, and instructed users to use these devices in an infringing manner. This marketing, promotion, and instruction has specifically included instructions to use the App Store, iTunes, and iBooks functionality to download apps, music, podcasts, audiobooks, and books.”
DataQuill also provides documentation showing that the company has been in contact with Apple since 2009 regarding the iPhone maker’s alleged patent infringement. DataQuill lists the iPhone, the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S, and the iPhone 5 as infringing products.
Four of DataQuill’s patents are titled “Data entry system” and cover various methods and processes related to a “data entry device” that connects to a “wireless telecommunications network.” The fifth patent is titled, “Hand held telecommunications and data entry device” and it describes a “hand held data entry unit” with a “display screen for displaying a user readable representation of the commands and/or stored information for a selected item, and a telecommunication interface for the telephonic transmission of information.”
DataQuill filed its lawsuit in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, a popular venue for many patent portfolio companies. Apple already faces several other patent-infringement lawsuits in this district, including one from Texas-based Bluebonnet Telecommunications and another from Taiwan-based MemSmart Semiconductor Corporation.
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