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Apple defeats patent infringement claims – again

Appeal Court rules in favour of ColorSync

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The US Court of Appeal has thrown out claims that Apple's ColorSync device-indpendent colour management system illegally uses technology owned by another company.

The company in question is called Imatec. It's CEO, Dr Hanock Shalit, made the claim in February 1998, when he alleged that ColorSync violates device-indpendent colour patents owned by Imatec. After attempting to get money out of Apple directly, he attempted to sue the Mac maker and wrest damages of $1.1 billion out of it.

Apple always denied the charge. It introduced ColorSync in 1993, from technologies that it has been offering since 1985 - long before Imatec's patents were granted in 1992. In January last year, Apple satisfied the US District Court that no infringement had taken place - though not after chastising the company for trying to delay the proceedings.

Imatec immediately appealed the ruling.

The Court of Appeal found that the lower court had been correct to question Imatec's right to the patent in question - and thus its right to sue Apple - and on that basis dismissed the case. ®

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