Apple Hit with Permissions Law Suit

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Apple Inc is the target in yet another law suit, this time over accusations that it is infringing on patents relating to technology that manages software-based permissions. Protection and Authentication of Texas and Global Innovation Technology Holdings, the patent holder and licensee, named Apple along with several other companies in the suit.

According to the suit, Acer, Alienware, American Future Technology, Apple, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway, HP, Lenovo, Motion Computing and Panasonic are all using technology that limits who can modify files to administrators and file owners, but that none of the companies have licensed the rights either of the patent controllers.

At question are patents 5,311,591, "Computer system security method and apparatus for creating and using program authorization information data structures," and continuation patent 5,412,717. The original patent was filed in 1992 and granted in 1994, and the continuation was granted in 1995.

The patents describe what sounds strikingly similar to "sand boxing," which is a feature that's been available to Unix users even before the patents were filed for and granted. "The program is permitted to access what has been authorized and nothing else. In this fashion, the program may be regarded as being placed in a program capability limiting 'safety box.' This 'safety box' is thereafter associated with the program such that whenever the system monitor runs the program, the PAI for that program is likewise loaded and monitored. If the program attempts to do anything outside the authorized limits, then the program execution is halted."

Protection and Authentication of Texas and Global Innovation Technology Holdings are seeking a trial by jury and are asking for an injunction, damages and court costs. Considering the nature of the patents, however, it may be difficult for the companies to stand up against a "prior art" defense.

[Thanks to AppleInsider for the heads up.]

 

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10 Comments Leave Your Own

nealg

One of the things that I am hoping for in the next several years is some resolution of the copyright/patent issues that seem to have come up with regards to digital issues. It seems like many patents were issued on things that were already in use by many people/companies and somebody had the idea of patenting it with the sole idea of trying to blackmail money out of companies years later. Legitimate claims get mixed up with what I will call all the blackmail attempts. Hard to know where the legitimacy lies.

Neal

geoduck

Let me get this straight. They were granted a patent in 1994, did nothing about protecting it for 15 YEARS and now claim that everyone is infringing on their patent, which by the way, covers concepts and technology rooted in UNIX out of the 1970s and 80s.

No one but the lawyers will make anything on this one.

In the 1800s two men were walking along a beach when they came upon an oyster. They were arguing about who it belonged to when lawyer came along and offered to settle the dispute. After listening to both men tell their stories, the lawyer opened and ate the oyster and handed each man part of the shell.

Some things never change.

Lee Dronick

“In the 1800s two men were walking along a beach when they came upon an oyster.”

Was it Whal Russ and a carpenter?

Yes reform of copyright and patent laws is sorely needed.

zewazir

What do you call 1000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

- A good start -


It’s cases like this that lead me to believe the above is more a truth than a joke…..

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I hope that the change that has come to Washington, D.C. today will grant Apple clemency in this injust lawsuit and stimulate the patent office to rebuild its broken infrastructure. This will create thousands of green jobs and address the failures due to the greed of the past 8 years. But first, I hope that President Obama will fix the BCS system, replacing it with an 8 team playoff.

geoduck

But first, I hope that President Obama will fix the BCS system, replacing it with an 8 team playoff.

Nice idea but then you’ll hear all sorts of complaints from fans of the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th place teams. I used to live in Minnesota and it was not unheard of for the Golden Gophers to place 11th in the Big 10 (no kidding they really did) but some of the fans always thought they should have gone to the Rose Bowl anyway.

furbies

zewazir said
“What do you call 1000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

- A good start -”

I’d call it a drop in the ocean.

Lee Dronick

I too like to joke about them, but in all seriousness not all lawyers are bad and in many “cases” you will be glad to have a good one.

Henry VI Act 4 Scene II

JACK CADE - I thank you, good people: there shall be no money;
all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will
apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree
like brothers and worship me their lord.

DICK THE BUTCHER - The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

JACK CADE - Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable
thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should
be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled
o’er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings:
but I say, ‘tis the bee’s wax; for I did but seal
once to a thing, and I was never mine own man
since. How now! who’s there?

zewazir

I too like to joke about them, but in all seriousness not all lawyers are bad and in many ?cases? you will be glad to have a good one.

The fact that one may need “a good one” in the future is part of the problem.  It is not entirely accident, nor entirely inherent to the system, that laws have become so complex that a lay person has no hope of understanding them without expert help. Nor is it accident that most of these overly-complex laws are written by lawyers.

Emelie-New York personal injury lawyers

Really its is nice post, The post is clearly highlighting the values of law. It is now being necessary for all of us to understand law and its values.

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