Apple, Microsoft, Google Hit with Icon Patent Suit


Apple, Microsoft and Google are all looking at more potential court time now that Cygnus Systems is suing the companies over claims that they are violating a patent it holds. The patent in question describes using icons to preview files before opening them -- a feature common to many applications.

The suit specifically identifies Mac OS X and its Cover Flow feature, Apple's Safari Web browser tabbed interface, the iPhone interface, Microsoft's Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 8 Web browser, and Google's Chrome Web browser for Windows.

Cygnus Systems is asking the court for the usual damages including compensation for the infringement, court costs, a permanent injunction against the named companies selling infringing products, along with anything else the court feels like tossing its way. The likelihood, however, that the court would issue an injunction prohibiting the sale of products that are named in the suit is slim.

The case was filed by Cygnus Systems in the fourth district U.S. court in Arizona, and the company is asking for a jury trial.

[Thanks to Macworld for the heads up.]