Data Engine Technologies slapped Apple with a lawsuit over claims that the Numbers spreadsheet app infringes on a patent it holds. The patent in question, 5,463,724, was originally owned by Borland, but DET claims it now has full rights to the patent.
The patent describes a system and method for an "improved spreadsheet interface with user-familiar objects." DET claimed in its filing that Apple is willfully infringing on the patent, which opens the door for a request for triple damages should the company win its claim in court.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. There's a good chance that sounds familiar since that's the same court patent holding firms prefer when filing their infringement lawsuits.
Apple seems to be routinely targeted through this specific court by patent holders, and Patently Apple says DET fits "the classic definition of a patent troll," or a company that uses patent litigation as its business model.
Apple hasn't commented on the lawsuit.