Apple Hit with Patent Lawsuit Over iTunes, iCloud

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Elia Data goes Patent Troll on AppleElia Data slapped Apple with a lawsuit alleging iTunes, iCloud, the App Store, OS X Server, and Remote Desktop all infringe on a patent it holds. The patent describes a system for transporting and storing data on a network, and the lawsuit was filed in Federal Court in the Eastern District in Texas -- a court that's a favorite for patent trolls.

Elia Data claims to be the owner of assignment for the patent, but isn't listed on the granted patent document, which is a hint that the company purchased the patent for the sole purpose of suing companies to make money, according to Patently Apple. The patent was granted to Sandy Craig Kronenberg in September 2006, and originally filed in July 2001.

The patent in question, 7,113,996, describes a system where data is shuttled securely between network nodes and forwarded to other network nodes, which is a process that Apple -- along with most other companies that handle secure data transfer -- use when communicating between computers and servers.

So far there isn't any evidence to show Elia Data actually makes any products, which makes the company's lawsuit look like its more about making money off of Apple than protecting intellectual property. The company was founded as an LLC in Allen Texas on January 20, 2012, and in April hit Microsoft with a lawsuit and followed up June of that year with IBM for infringing on the same patent.

Apple hasn't commented on the lawsuit.

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Maybe Apple should take the money David Einhorn wants set aside for everlasting stock dividends and set up a Smite the Patent Troll fund.

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While not being familiar with patent law or this patent, I am surprised that this concept is patentable at all. It seems that any company with secure individual space for user data on a server was doing this in the 1990’s, and probably earlier, way before this patent was granted.

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