Apple has yet another patent infringement lawsuit to deal with, this time for the sliding carousel effect on the Apple.com home page. The case was filed by Samuel Lit who holds a 2008 patent describing the carousel effect—an effect that’s easy to find on scores of websites.
A carousel is an effect where a group of images slide across a webpage one after another at a preset rate. Apple, like so many other sites, uses the effect to highlight different products.
Mr. Lit’s patent describes a system for feeding content into a carousel as well as displaying it on a website. His patent, number 8,793,330, covers an “information display system and method” and includes a description of images sliding across a page, three-dimensional effects, and functionality for uploading and downloading content, data collection, and generating revenue from content displayed in a carousel.
If Mr. Lit plans to go after other websites using carousel sliders, he’s going to be a very busy man. The WordPress plug-in repository, for example, currently lists 501 different carousel choices, and since WordPress is such a popular website platform it’s a safe bet thousands of sites are using the effect.
His previous attempts to cash in on the patent via his YourDisplayCarousel.com website tanked and the site shut down in December 2015. Since he hasn’t been able to find any other way to make money off his patent, it looks like he decided to try the litigation path instead.
Mr. Lit filed his case in Pennsylvania where he lives and is asking the court to force Apple to pay a reasonable royalty rate plus the maximum allowable interest rate.
[Thanks to Apple Insider for the heads up]