Bluebonnet Telecommunications Sues Apple over Call Forwarding Patent

Apple was hit with a new patent infringement lawsuit this week, this time from Bluebonnet Telecommunications over the call forwarding feature in the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. According to the lawsuit, Apple is inducing customers to use features it knows infringe on the patent in question.

Bluebonnet Telecommunications says Apple is infringing on its call forwarding patentBluebonnet Telecommunications says Apple is infringing on its call forwarding patent

Bluebonnet's patent, number 5,485,511, describes a "method and apparatus for determining the telephony features assigned to a telephone," and the lawsuit specifically targets how Apple implemented the call forwarding feature in the iPhone. The company said Apple induces iPhone users by,

(1) providing instructions to their customers that explain how to use the features of the accused devices that are accused of infringement (specifically those features that allow call forwarding and the display of whether the feature is activated); and (2) by touting the accused features of the smartphone.

It isn't clear if Bluebonnet tried to enter into patent negotiations before filing the lawsuit, and the wording the company uses implies that Apple may not have even been aware of the patent before getting slapped with court documents.

Bluebonnet Telecommunications filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, which just so happens to be a court favored by patent trolls. The company is asking for financial damages and a permanent injunction blocking Apple from continuing to infringe on the 511 patent.

[Thanks to AppleInsider for the heads up]