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Apple Hit with Stacks Lawsuit

Apple Hit with Stacks Lawsuit

by , 8:50 AM EDT, March 19th, 2008

Mirror Worlds has hopped on the Apple lawsuit train and is suing the company for infringing on its time-based stack or stream file organization patents. Like so many other suits against Apple, this one was filed in the Eastern District of Texas -- a favorite for patent trolls, according to InformationWeek.

The lawsuit alleges that Mac OS X features including Time Machine and Cover Flow are described in patents Mirror Worlds owns, and are being used without proper licensing.

The company opened its doors in 1997 and later filed its patents, which may prove to be a problem in proving that they are valid. Apple's now defunct HyperCard first appeared in 1987 with many of the same concepts Mirror Worlds claims, which means the Cupertino company could have the patents invalidated as prior art.

Mirror Worlds was based out of New Haven, CT, and closed its doors in 2004. It's filing against Apple from March 14, 2008, however, was filed in Texas Eastern District Court. The court is well known for its steep penalties and for favoring plaintiffs in patent cases.

Since neither company is headquartered in Texas, it seems likely that Mirror Worlds is hoping the venue will push Apple into an out of court settlement.

Apple was hit with another patent lawsuit last week when ZapMedia filed a case against the company with an iPod and iTunes-related claim. Like Mirror Worlds, that case was filed in the Texas Eastern District Court.

Apple has not commented on either case.

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