Feeds

Troll sues Apple for daring to plug headphones into iPhone

Spare us some change, guv'nor, just $3m will do?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A patent hoarding firm is suing Apple for $3m for allegedly ripping off a protected design that describes plugging headphones into a mobile phone.

Intelligent Smart Phone Concepts, a Delaware company with no web presence, launched its legal action against iPhone-maker Apple in California. ISPC has demanded damages for the alleged infringement of its "Wireless mobile phone including a headset" patent, and has requested a jury trial.

The rather turgid patent in question describes a removable audio headset with an optional microphone that can be connected to a mobe:

A wireless mobile phone is provided with an input-output interface and an output interface. The input-output interface may be employed singularly to facilitate removable attachment of a telephony headset to the phone to receive at least telephony audio signals from the phone, and to provide audio signals to the phone.

Similarly, the output interface may be employed singularly to facilitate removable attachment of an audio output only headset to the phone to receive at least a selected one of telephony and non-telephony audio signals from the phone.

However, the input-output interface and the output interface may also be used jointly to facilitate removable attachment of a two-plug headset to the phone to receive at least a selected one of telephony and non-telephony audio signals from the phone, and to provide audio signals to the phone.

This masterpiece was rubber-stamped by the US Patent Office in 2008 and awarded to Varia Mobil, a firm related to Varia Holdings that is suing Samsung and RIM for their use of emoticons.

ISPC wants $3m in damages, although the final figure can be trebled by the judge, and of course sales bans on any products infringing the protected design.

grab from US Patent Office

The innovative earpiece (216) with attached microphone (218), or just plain headphones (206), at the heart of the lawsuit
(Credit: US Patent Office)

Patent-holding companies that only use their vaults of amassed intellectual property purely for launching lawsuits are often kindly referred to as patents trolls. Their usual strategy is not to win any cases but to encourage major firms to part with reasonably small amounts of money in royalties or settlements so as to avoid the cost of a full-blown trial. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.