Patent Holding Company SMTM Sues Apple Over Do Not Disturb While Driving Feature

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SMTM Technology filed a lawsuit against Apple accusing the iPhone maker of infringing on its patent with iOS 11’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature. SMTM is a patent holding company and filed its lawsuit in San Francisco.

patent troll with justice scales

SMTM Technologies hits Apple with DND While Driving patent infringement lawsuit

Patently Apple found the filing which states,

Instead of licensing the Bovis Patent, Apple gambled that SMTM and Mr. Bovis would not have the business acumen or the capital to vindicate their claims under the Bovis Patent.

The patent in question, 8,958,853, was filed by Nick Bovis in October 2014 and is titled “Mobile device inactive mode and inactive mode verification.” It describes a system where a mobile device goes into an “inactive mode” when a vehicle starts moving.

[iOS 11: How to Set Up and Customize Do Not Disturb While Driving]

[Let Folks Through ‘Do Not Disturb’ With Emergency Bypass]

That sounds a lot like DND While Driving in iOS 11, which was released in September 2017.

SMTM Technology wants to get royalties from Apple for using the patent. Apple will most likely try to get the patent invalidated.

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Lee Dronick
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Lee Dronick

And when did Apple start working on the feature? I am thinking that it was well before their patent, though it is possible that they weren’t.