Thursday, April 10, 2014

NetAirus Appeals Lower Court Ruling Favoring Apple

Case Filed: Apr 08, 2014

Origin case: 2:10-cv-03257

Case Summary:
NetAirus Technologies, California-based patent holding company sued Apple for infringing a patent covering a method for handset unit communication. The suit was filed in California Central District Court in Apr 2010. NetAirus alleged that Apple infringed the claims of the patent by manufacturing mobile handset devices including iPhones.

The suit revolves around the patent US7103380 entitled ‘Wireless handset communication system’ that was issued on Sep 05, 2006 and expires[i] by Apr 04, 2017. The ‘380 patent is currently assigned[ii] to NetAirus (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database). The patent relates to a computer unit, having light weight thin notebook-like structure that is capable of performing personal digital assistant (PDA) like functions and wireless external communications of voice, text, graphic and image data. 

The complaint said, Apple has knowledge of the ‘380 patent and the act of infringement was willful and deliberate and demanded cash damages and a jury trial.

 Trial commenced in Nov 2013 and the jury reached a majority verdict in favor of Apple. Accordingly, the Court in Jan 2014, ordered that Apple does not directly infringe nor does induce infringement on claims 3, 7, 9, 10, 11 or 12 of the ’380 patent and the asserted claims are invalid due to obviousness and lack of written description. The Court also found that Apple is the prevailing party and is entitled to costs.

Based on the district court’s ruling, NetAirus has filed an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

See 2014-1404 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

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[i] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.
[ii] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.

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