Apple, RIM, Others Hit With Cell Phone Patent Suit

Obscure Texas firm SmartPhone Technologies LLC this week filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, Research in Motion, AT&T, Insight Enterprises, LG Electronics, Motorola, Pantech Wireless, Samsung, and Sanyo, alleging each is in violation of up to seven cell phone patents, including Bluetooth connectivity, syncing, and other technologies.

According to The Register, six of the seven patents were originally granted to Palm spin-off PalmSource, which was purchased by a company called Access in 2005. It’s not clear how Access is connected to SmartPhone Technologies, which is not the same as the Florida-based developer of mobile phone apps for entertainment and sports clients.

The Register, however, does provide some context for this lawsuit, calling the district court where it was filed “the patent infringement capital of the US” and  noting: “To put it bluntly, the case has all the hallmarks of typical East Texas trolling. The plaintiff, SmartPhone Technologies LLC, has no website, doesn't show up in the business directory of its stated hometown of Frisco, Texas, and a search for businesses listed at the address it provides in court documents, 6136 Frisco Square Boulevard, Suite 400, turns up merely law offices, mortgage brokers, a psychotherapist, and - amusingly - a document-shredding service.”

The lawyers representing SmartPhone Technologies LLC say on their web site: “Initially, the Ward & Smith Law Firm's practice was limited to representing individuals who were severely injured through the negligence of others. With the increased filing of patent infringement actions in the Eastern District of Texas, the firm has expanded its practice to include this challenging and complex area of practice.”