Apple Hit with Patent Lawsuit Over Mobile Safari

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Apple is the target of yet another patent lawsuit, this time over a company claiming it holds a patent that covers how Web-based content is displayed on mobile devices such as the iPhone.

The case was filed against Apple by Softview in U.S. District Court in Delaware. It describes a process where Web pages can be scaled and rendered for easier viewing on mobile devices that sounds surprisingly like Apple’s Mobile Safari app.

The patent states, “Mobile devices enabled to support resolution-independent scalable display of Internet (Web) content to allow Web pages to be scaled (zoomed) and panned for better viewing on smaller screen sizes.”

It also states, “The scalable content and/or data derived therefrom are then employed to enable the Web content to be rapidly rendered, zoomed, and panned. Moreover, the rendered displays provide substantially the same or identical layout as the original Web page, enabling users to easily navigate to selected content and features on familiar Web pages.”

Softview is requesting an injunction against Apple along with cash damages.

Apple hasn’t commented on the pending litigation.

[Thanks to The Loop for the heads up.]

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Comments

Tiger

Can you patent a vague concept, or are they claiming Apple is using their exact technique? And can they prove it? This sort of stuff needs to stay out of the courtroom and go into mediation.

Intruder

When was the patent filed and granted?

BurmaYank

how many times must an awarded patent be a rank duplication before the US Patent Office calls its own system utterly broken?

Urby

Why did this take 3 years to happen? Mobile Safari has been the same for a very long time and Opera mini before it was also sort of similar.

Low End Dan

Browsers have had the ability to reduce the size of pages (both text and images) for how long now? What exactly changes when you do that on a “mobile device” instead of a regular computer?

mactoid

I see the economic downturn hasn’t adversely affected the “Sue Apple” industry!

BurmaYank

If they haven’t done so already, I think Apple or Google, etc. need to put a lot of their best pattern recognition software designers to work, using big chunks of their giant data centers’ brainpowers (in North Carolina or wherever), to scrutinize every U.S.A patent (for starters, and then go to every patent in the world) for intrinsic similarities and duplicated elements, and to then produce a universal cybercompendium of patent concepts & ideas for either only their own legal staff’s use or for everyone’s.

That sort of massive cyberanalysis must be done before any useful patent reform legislation can be possible, IMO.  Our society’s great need for significant patent reform is only going to grow exponentially until we do this (or until we enter a Mad-Max new Dark Age).

BTW, can’t we please outlaw all patents on DNA codes?

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