Feeds

Apple, Google, world+dog named in mobile patent suit

Shocker: may not be baseless

The Power of One Infographic

Apple, Google, Motorola, HTC, and 18 other top mobile-tech firms have been hit with yet another wide-ranging patent infringement lawsuit.

Unlike a similarly broad-brush suit filed earlier this month by the obscure Texas firm of SmartPhone Technologies LLC against Apple, Motolora, RIM, and others, the plaintiff in this case is a company that appears to actually exist: MicroUnity of Santa Clara, California.

The 38-page complaint alleges that the 22 defendants have infringed upon 14 MicroUnity patents covering a variety of mobile-processor technologies. Of the 14, two - one concerning floating-point operations and another covering group data operations - were granted just last month. The earliest, which deals with microprocessor buffer design, dates from 1998.

Among the 22 alleged infringers, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Texas Instruments are alleged to be in violation of MicroUnity patents in their processors. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are alleged to violate patents in their support of infringing phones, while Apple, Google, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, and others are alleged to violate patents in their phones or other devices. Specifically named in the suit, for example, are Apple's iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch, Google's Nexus One, and Nokia's N900.

MicroUnity is no stranger to patent-infringment lawsuits. According to the company's website, they reached litigation settlements with Intel and Dell in 2005 and with Sony and AMD in 2007. MicroUnity did not immediately respond to our requests for comment.

Also according to the MicroUnity website, the company's prime area of current operations is the development of what they call "a new generation of broadband microprocessor innovations" known as BroadMX (PDF), a "programming model and synthesizable hardware library that makes broadband algorithms - including 4G wireless, HD video, and 3D graphics - practical to implement and upgrade in software."

As is standard practice in such patent-infringment lawsuits, the complaint was filed in the plaintiff-friendly US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, home to such recent patent-infringement filings as the aforementioned SmartPhone Technologies suit, VirnetX's pair of lawsuits against Microsoft, and BetaNet's questionable complaint against Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, IBM, SAP, and a dozen other companies.

Palm, by the way, was also named as a defendant in the MicroUnity lawsuit - yet another headache for a company that is enduring both bad financial news and sloppily reported rumors. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.