Apple's Time Machine, Cover Flow, and Safari for iOS Targeted in New Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Patent holding company TriDim Innovations this week filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, accusing the companying of violating two 3D workspace patents the company owns. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California with a judge assignment still pending.

TriDim asserts in the suit that Apple is infringing on U.S. patents 5,838,326 and 5,847,709, both of which address document management in 3D workspaces. Specifically, Apple Time Machine, Cover Flow, and Safari for iOS 7 and 8 are claimed to be infringing on the patents.

US5838326-2

One embodiment of the document display space disclosed in TriDim's patents

Both of TriDim's patents were originally filed in 1996 and awarded to Xerox in late 1998, although they have changed hands several times in recent years. Patent ’326 details a method of moving and manipulating document objects in a 3D workspace using touch-drop, flick and other gestures.

A computer controlled display system for displaying a three-dimensional document workspace is disclosed. One or more documents objects are present in the document workspace. The present invention provides for interaction with the collections, e.g. viewing, moving and storing, while balancing the necessary tradeoffs of rapid access, number of collections and associated documents, and available screen space.

TriDim is asking for unspecified monetary damages for Apple’s alleged infringement, along with interest and court costs.


TriDim's lawsuit is not the first time Apple has been accused of patent infringement for its Time Machine and Cover Flow interfaces. In 2010, Apple was initially hit with a $625 million judgment in a case centered on a different set of patents owned by Mirror Worlds LLC. That verdict was ultimately overturned, however, and became final when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

Top Rated Comments

ArtOfWarfare Avatar
119 months ago
So here's the big question: if Apple has been causing this company so much harm to warrant going to court, why is it only now, 7 years after Time Machine and even more after Cover Flow, that they're choosing to do anything about it?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KazKam Avatar
119 months ago
So why doesn't TriDim sue Mirror Worlds or vice versa?

Oh, that's right, patent trolls don't sue other patent trolls, that would be unethical/unprofessional. Oh yeah, and neither of them have Apple's deep pockets or actual products that incorporate the patents.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mw360 Avatar
119 months ago
So here's the big question: if Apple has been causing this company so much harm to warrant going to court, why is it only now, 7 years after Time Machine and even more after Cover Flow, that they're choosing to do anything about it?

Because next year everything will be flat design and they won't get a penny.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Marduke Avatar
119 months ago
So here's the big question: if Apple has been causing this company so much harm to warrant going to court, why is it only now, 7 years after Time Machine and even more after Cover Flow, that they're choosing to do anything about it?

Patents filed after 1995 expire 20 years from filing date. These two patents expire in 2016. So if they think they've got something the clock is about to run out.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MaxinMusicCity Avatar
119 months ago
More Welfare for Lawyers :p
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cyber86 Avatar
119 months ago
Thank goodness they only patented air behind bookcases, and not in front of it.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...