Kodak Sues Apple
Now this is one news that has been in news in bits and pieces but PC World reports that it is more than just one or two law suits on Apple’s flag ship iPhone. It seems that all that “being original” hype by Apple has finally seen the daylight and it is giving Apple a very tough time. Just take a look at the recent report by PC World which outlines clearly where Apple has violated the rights of other manufacturers and has in-fact “taken inspiration” to come up with iPhone’s super cool features. Bad Bad Apple, No Donut for you (oops.. I think I just got “inspired” by Orkut, Google please spare me)
Image Previews: The subject of Kodak’s lawsuit, Apple and RIM allegedly infringed a patent that allows image previews. Kodak successfully sued Samsung for the same thing last year, and the companies settled after inking a cross-licensing deal.
The App Store and iTunes: Affinity Labs contends that Apple infringes its method of browsing for and purchasing goods, such as music and apps, and transferring them wirelessly to a portable device such as the iPhone.
Multi-touch: All those neat tricks you can do with your fingers to scroll around on the iPhone? Stolen, according to Taiwanese touch pad maker Elan. The lawsuit, filed in April 2009, also applies to the iPod Touch and MacBooks.
The Web Browser: EMG Technology says it invented a method for generating a sister Web site from an HTML document using XML. What’s not clear is how that technology doesn’t apply to every other mobile phone on the market.
Shazam: Apple didn’t make Shazam, the cool app that names songs simply by listening to them, but that hasn’t stopped Tune Hunter from suing Apple, along with Shazam Entertainment and others, for a method of identifying and purchasing songs.
Visual Voicemail: The way the iPhone displays voicemails in a menu that you can browse allegedly belongs to Klausner Technologies, which first patented the idea in 1994 and reinstated it in 2008.
Camera Sensor: Last March, Accolade Systems sued Micron Technology and its subsidiary Aptina Imaging over a patent related to detecting intensity saturation in camera sensors. Apple wasn’t named in the lawsuit, but parts of the iPhone are mentioned.
Camera, Antenna, Power Management: It’s not clear exactly what features Apple allegedly took from Nokia, but Nokia says ten of its patents have been used in “key features” of the iPhone. Apple countersued, claiming that Nokia infringes on 11 Apple patents.
The Whole Darned Thing: Los Angeles-based Minerva Industries claims that it holds a patent for a “Mobile Entertainment and Communication Device.” A separate lawsuit names RIM, while yet another names 29 defendants including HTC, Motorola, LG, Palm and all four major U.S. wireless carriers.
In my opinion, there is a very thick line between “inspiration” and “theft”. I am not a judge but there will be one slapping huge sums of fine to be paid by Apple in result of these law suits.