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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.

Apple vs Fundamental Innova... by on Scribd



Tag: lawsuit


Top Rated Comments

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2 weeks ago

So if a company sees another company about to fail, and decided to purchase their portfolio to make money off their patents, they are considered patent trolls?
Sounds like a great business decision.



Yes, definite patent trolls.

It's not the purpose or intent for which patents exist. Really there should be a process in which these patents go in to the public domain after a company fails and is no longer intent on making use of these patents in a productive manner.
Rating: 18 Votes
2 weeks ago

So if a company sees another company about to fail, and decided to purchase their portfolio to make money off their patents, they are considered patent trolls?

Sounds like a great business decision.


As someone with experience in the tech field and patents, I would be greatly in favor of abandoning ALL patents. The reason is that the few cases in which a patent describes something that's truly novel and non obvious is so small as to be not worth even considering as a factor.

However, a good intermediate step for those who still see a point to patents would be to disallow ANY revenue from patent ownership from any party that (1) isn't the original inventor of the idea, or (2) isn't actively producing a product incorporating the idea. The purpose of patents is to spur innovation, not make people rich or commoditize ideas. For all those with the knee jerk reaction of "why would people make anything if they couldn't patent it" IMO has never been part of a technical job, in which everything you do, every day, is more sophisticated than most patents. Often it's how you end up using them - the total package - that has the real value. And that's not patentable.
Rating: 11 Votes
2 weeks ago

Someone will definitely win

The lawyers win
Rating: 10 Votes
2 weeks ago
I love it! They should set aside 10% of their extra 200 billion in cash to a strike first legal fund and make it known they will control the conversation by ensuring it is fought in their turf in California.
Rating: 9 Votes
2 weeks ago
Apple has a lot of nerve calling someone a patent troll considering they set up a shell company to do exactly that

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockstar_Consortium
Rating: 5 Votes
2 weeks ago
"Should" but that's not the case today.

I don't understand why a patent should go into public domain after a company fails. If their assets are sold off, then the new buyer should be able to pull a profit. Evidently the patents are still useful, or they wouldn't be used.

Yes, definite patent trolls.

It's not the purpose or intent for which patents exist. Really there should be a process in which these patents go in to the public domain after a company fails and is no longer intent on making use of these patents in a productive manner.

Rating: 4 Votes
2 weeks ago

Yes, definite patent trolls.

It's not the purpose or intent for which patents exist. Really there should be a process in which these patents go in to the public domain after a company fails and is no longer intent on making use of these patents in a productive manner.

Where in the constitution, which is where patent rights emanate from, does it say that isn’t what patents are for?
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Maybe you should make the distinction between the different types of lawyers and the ones that are more at risk to not getting paid instead of claiming they don't.


Lawyers representing plaintiffs (patentholders) often only get paid if they win.

Lawyers representing accused infringers typically get paid either way.
Rating: 3 Votes
2 weeks ago

I love it! They should set aside 10% of their extra 200 billion in cash to a strike first legal fund and make it known they will control the conversation by ensuring it is fought in their turf in California.

They're already one of most litigious companies in the US. You want them to be more litigious?

A patent troll is an entity that asserts patents but does not engage in business using its patented technologies.

So all research universities are patent trolls? The CDC and USDA are patent trolls? Even Apple has asserted patents they do not use themselves, so is Apple a patent troll? You're definition is way way too broad.

It's also too narrow. I would consider a small company, even if it also uses its patents, but which asserts its patents seeking small dollar settlements (less than cost of litigation) from as many people as possible to be a patent troll.

Really there should be a process in which these patents go in to the public domain after a company fails and is no longer intent on making use of these patents in a productive manner.

In today's economy, one of the many reasons patents exist is so that companies can create valuable assets that they can offer as collateral to investors. This is HUGELY important to startups. What you are suggesting would make all patents worthless, which would really hinder investment in startups with no other assets to offer up.
Rating: 2 Votes
2 weeks ago

Apple sued for rectangle with rounded corners so they shouldn't be complaining about charging technologies. They are part of the problem.

Please tell us where exactly Apple sued anyone for "rectangle with rounded corners".
Rating: 2 Votes
2 weeks ago

Apple has a lot of nerve calling someone a patent troll considering they set up a shell company to do exactly that

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockstar_Consortium

You have a lot of nerve accusing Apple of "calling someone a patent troll." Where, precisely, did they do that?

Answer: they didn't.
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This sounds like Apple may be doing more for the parties currently being sued. I bet something like this causes the patent trolls to drop all cases.

No, it does not.
[doublepost=1549472124][/doublepost]

As someone with experience in the tech field and patents, I would be greatly in favor of abandoning ALL patents. The reason is that the few cases in which a patent describes something that's truly novel and non obvious is so small as to be not worth even considering as a factor.

However, a good intermediate step for those who still see a point to patents would be to disallow ANY revenue from patent ownership from any party that (1) isn't the original inventor of the idea, or (2) isn't actively producing a product incorporating the idea. The purpose of patents is to spur innovation, not make people rich or commoditize ideas. For all those with the knee jerk reaction of "why would people make anything if they couldn't patent it" IMO has never been part of a technical job, in which everything you do, every day, is more sophisticated than most patents. Often it's how you end up using them - the total package - that has the real value. And that's not patentable.


Congratulations. You just put every engineering university with research departments out of business by eliminating the validity oft heir patent portfolios.
Rating: 2 Votes

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