California inventor loses patent case against Apple

Californian inventor Richard L. Ditzik was in the news on the account of suing Apple for an intellectual property rights infringement. The update on the case is that Cupertino and co. have managed to stave off the lawsuit and won the case.

The 70 year old electrical engineer had presented the case on the grounds of a ‘smartphone patent’. The claim was made under NetAirus Technologies, a shell company owned by Ditzik.

Ditzik had claimed that he came up with the idea for the smartphone, a notion rejected by a Los Angeles jury. The plaintiff had argued that Apple infringes its patent for a handheld device. The handheld device is basically a contraption of a smartphone and uses computer and wireless communication functions. These functions spread over both WiFi and cellular telephone network.

Interesting to note is the fact that the decision was not an easy one to arrive at. According to reports, the jury that consisted of 6 women and 2 men had remained in a deadlock for a period of 3 days. They had sent notes to the judge pointing out that they hadn’t reached a unanimous solution.

Following this predicament, attorneys from both side agreed on a majority vote. The majority voted in favor of Apple on the patent issue.

Apple had argued its cost on the grounds that the technology under dispute is quite well known at the time that the patent infringement had been filed. This means that such technology becomes a ‘poster case’ for patent issues which are facially invalid.

Apple had a previous run in on similar grounds with Wi-Lan Inc, in which the latter had demanded for $248 million royalty for wireless tech Apple uses in its mobile devise. The well covered Samsung case recently resulted in Apple winning an additional $290 million for damages.



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