“Patent trolls” exist, with an entire industry built around the idea that litigation can lead to big monetary returns.
Some of those court cases do go in their favor, too, despite how nakedly obvious their mission statements are. The patent field is a complicated one, and some companies simply buy up what they can get in hopes of suing giant companies like Apple. But sometimes the big companies go on the offensive, which is what the Cupertino-based company is doing now.
Apple recently filed legal documentation to move ahead with a suit against Fundamental Innovation Systems International (FISI). Apple is asking a district court in California to rule that the company is not infringing on patents held by FISI. The patents in question are USB power related, and they were acquired by FISI from BlackBerry several years ago. Some of the patents date back to 2000.
Up to this point, FISI has filed lawsuits of its own over patent infringement against several companies, including Huawei, LG, and Samsung. Those companies are now listed as licensees of FISI. As a result of that, Apple believes it is next, and, as a result, has preemptively aimed to have a court rule that it is not infringing on the same patents.
“Defendants have claimed, through letters, claim charts, telephone calls and in-person meetings with Apple personnel in this District, that certain Apple products infringe the Patents-in-Suit and that Apple requires a license to the Patents-in-Suit. However, Apple’s products do not infringe the Patents-in-Suit.
This Court should not allow the threat of a future lawsuit to harm and cause uncertainty to Apple’s business.”
It appears that Apple is leaning heavily on its Lightning technology, saying it does not adhere to USB 2.0 as much as the other companies do, or what would be covered in the patent infringement case that FISI might file against Apple. It is certainly possible that Apple’s proprietary Lightning technology could keep it safe in this regard, and Apple is asking for a jury trial in the U.S. District Court of Northern California to prove that point.
No word on what happens next. Apple is seeking legal fees, as well as any other monetary relief it can get from the proceedings if the decision does go its way.
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