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Apple Sued Over iPhone Keyboard
Monday, August 6th, 2007 at 10:40 AM - by
SP Technologies has filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. claiming that the software-based keyboard found on the iPhone violates one of its patents. The Florida company is hoping to collect royalties, and also wants a permanent injunction blocking Apple from using technology that involves the patent in question, according to TheStreet.com.
SP Technologies filed its case in federal court in Texas' eastern district, even though it is based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The company claimed that Texas should have jurisdiction because Apple sells the iPhone in the state.
The Texas court has a history of siding with plaintiffs in patent cases, which could play in the company's favor. Filing in Texas also lets SP Technologies to take advantage of the state's Deceptive Trade Practices Act which allows the company to sue for triple the damages if it can prove that Apple knowingly and willfully violated its patent.
Whether or not the company's claim against Apple is valid, the potential for paying out three times the proposed economic losses may be enough to convince Apple to settle out of court -- a common tactic when plaintiff's are hoping for a quick pay out. Apple, however, claims to have extensive patents on the combination iPod and smart phone that it plans to aggressively protect, which means it may be wiling to go to court to protect the use of the iPhone's virtual keyboard.
This isn't the first lawsuit against Apple over the iPhone. At the end of July, Jose Trujillo filed a class action suit against the company claiming that Apple withheld critical information about iPhone battery life and replacement requirements.
Apple has not commented on the SP Technology case.
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