Patent litigation has been a problem for courts all around the world in recent years. Two major companies, Apple and Samsung are currently at the top when it comes to going in and out of court. The two companies have been launching lawsuits against each other left and right in the recent years, and it seems it’s only getting worse.
In a new report by FOSS Patents (via AppleInsider), Florian Mueller states that three of Apple’s popular patents used against Samsung are currently under reexamination (U.S. Patent No. 8,014,760, which is related to “missed telephone call management for a portable multifunction device”). Two patents are related to design and were successfully used against Samsung, one of which got an import ban granted to Apple.
Through an anonymous request, USPTO is considering reexamining the patents. USPTO will be using three Japanese patents as prior art references to compare them to Apple’s patents in question. This is not the first time Apple has come on the radar due to patent examination. Previously, the ‘Steve Jobs’ patent was in question.
Here are the prior art references that will be used by the USPTO:
- U.S. Patent No. 7,231,229 on a “communication device interface”; the first named inventor is Palm and Handspring founder Jeff Hawkins
- U.S. Patent No. 7,289,614 on “making a call from an address list or a call history list”; this is a PalmSource patent
- U.S. Published Patenta pplication No. 2006/0135197 on an “apparatus and method for originating call using latest communication records in mobile communication terminal”; a Samsung patent application
- U.S. Published Patent Applciation No. 2005/0085274 on a “method for displaying call record list in wireless telecommunication terminal”; a Pantech patent application
- U.S. Patent No, 8,126,120 on “providing missed call and message information”; a TellMe Networks patent
The anonymous requester is going about this reexamination route to try and get Apple’s patents invalidated, thus being pulled out from being used against Samsung and Motorola. Rumor has it that the anonymous requester is Samsung, however we do not know that for sure.