Feeds

Eatoni sues RIM over SureType

Text-entry specialist claims patent infringement

Top three mobile application threats

Predictive-text technology developer Eatoni Ergonomics has asked the US District Court of Northern Texas to ban Research in Motion (RIM) from selling its Blackberry 7100 smart-phone family, claiming the devices violate the small company's intellectual property rights.

The legal battle has been brewing since April when Eatoni was granted patent number 6,885,317, but kicked off in earnest this week following a skirmish between the two companies over where the lawsuit will be heard. New York-based Eatoni wanted the case heard locally; RIM favoured Texas; RIM prevailed.

Eatoni claims patent 6,885,317 - "touch-typable devices based on ambiguous codes and methods to design such devices" - covers text entry on small form-factor keypads that intelligently emulate a QWERTY keyboards. Mobile-phone owners who use the T9 system will be familiar with the idea, but Eatoni's dictionary-less, language-agnostic approach is significantly better. We know, we've tried it. So have plenty of cordless phone users - Eatoni's technology has been licensed to quite a few DECT-handset makers. You can try it yourself, here.

RIM's 7100 devices, codenamed 'Charm', launched a year ago and introduced a new predictive text-entry system, dubbed SureType, which allowed the company to squeeze a QWERTY keyboard onto the devices, which are much narrower than its trademark full QWERTY units.

That, claims Eatoni, falls slap bang within in the remit of its patent. When The Register spoke to Eatoni CEO Howard Gutowitz in July, he said the firm has alerted RIM to the alleged infringement and approached the push email giant with a view to licensing its technology. RIM, it appears, ultimately rejected its overtures.

RIM's response has been to claim Eatoni's patent is invalid for a number of reasons, including lack of novelty, Eatoni said.

A RIM spokesperson told The Register the company did not comment on pending litigation.

RIM - aka Lawsuits in Motion - remains locked in a legal battle with US patent holding company NTP over the latter's mobile email intellectual property. Last month, the US Court of Appeal struck off a number of claims made by NTP against RIM, but reaffirmed lower court decisions based on other claims. From the original 16 claims made by NTP against RIM only seven now remain, while a recent US Patents and Trademark Office revocation of a number of NTP's patents is likely to reduce that to five. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.