Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Apple, FlatWorld Interactives End Suit over Touchscreen Patents

Case Filed: Apr 19, 2012

Case Closed: May 22, 2014

Court: California Northern District Court

Judge: William H. Orrick

Case Summary:
Villanova, Pennsylvania-based FlatWorld Interactives, LLC filed a complaint against Apple, claiming the company violated their patents related to touch screen technology
The patents at issue were: US6920619 and RE43318 both entitled ‘User interface for removing an object from a display,’ originally issued to Slavoljub Milekic in Jul 19, 2005 and Apr 17, 2012, respectively. The patents expire[i] by Aug 28, 2017 and Jul 18, 2027. The patents are currently assigned[ii] to FlatWorld (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database.)

As in complaint:
The Apple products that the suit claimed infringing included iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, iPad Nano (sixth generation), MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Magic Mouse in combination with any Mac running OS X Snow Leopard v10.6.1 or later and Magic Trackpad in combination with any Mac running OS X Snow Leopard v.10.6.4 or later. FlatWorld alleged that accused products comprise a screen and a computer, with a pointing device that manipulates images on the screen, in which when one or more images is dragged at a velocity that exceeds a threshold velocity, the system responds by removing the image(s) from the screen without leaving a representative of the image on the screen.

FlatWorld sent a notice letter in Sep 2007, referencing the '619 patent and the '318 reissue patent application. According to the complaint, Apple “with actual knowledge of the inventions” infringed the patents forming a system and apparatus that incorporates elements meeting all of the limitations of one or more claims of the '318 and '619 patents. FlatWorld requested court to order an injunction barring the accused Apple products and to award damages.

Case Dismissed:
FlatWorld and Apple have settled the claims asserted in the case. The court considering the parties’ request to dismiss the case, opinionated that dismissal should be granted. Accordingly, the court ordered all claims and counterclaims dismissed with prejudice. It was further ordered that all attorneys’ fees, costs of court and expenses incurred by each party.

Other Cases by FlatWorld:
FlatWorld filed 3 cases since 2012 against Apple, LG and Samsung asserting the same patents. LG and Samsung cases are outstanding in Delaware District Court.

See 3:12-cv-01956 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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