Apple Preemptively Sues 'Patent Troll' to Address Threats Over USB-Related Power Patents
Apple on Tuesday filed suit against Fundamental Innovation Systems International (FISI), preemptively asking a California court to declare that Apple has not infringed upon a number of USB power patents held by FISI.
FISI, described by Apple as a patent assertion entity formed for the sole purpose of generating revenue through patent litigation, acquired a portfolio of charging-related patents from BlackBerry that it has asserted against several tech giants, including LG, Samsung, and Huawei, who are now listed as FISI licensees.
Apple believes it could be sued next and is seeking a declaration of non-infringement in advance, according to the complaint:
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.
The former BlackBerry patents generally relate to USB-based charging protocols, systems, and methods dating back to the early 2000s.
Apple believes none of its products violate the patents, including its power adapters. One of Apple's consistent defenses throughout its complaint is that its devices and power adapters rely on its proprietary Lightning connector rather than adhering to the USB 2.0 protocols described in the patents.
Apple has demanded a jury trial in the U.S. District Court of Northern California. Beyond a declaration of non-infringement, Apple is seeking legal fees and any other relief which Apple may be entitled to as deemed appropriate by the court.
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