Here’s one time Microsoft’s molasses-like startup routine could pay off. A Florida company is suing Apple, charging the tech giant infringed a patent for quickly booting Mac OS X. The lawsuit names the MacBook Pro as one of the Apple devices that is claimed to use the disputed patent.
The supposedly infringed patent covers “a method for fast booting a computer system, comprising the steps of: A. performing a power on self test (POST) of basic input output system (BIOS) when the system is powered on or reset is requested; B. checking whether a boot configuration information including a system booting state which was created while executing a previous normal booting process exists or not; C. storing the boot configuration information from execution of the POST operation before loading a graphic interface (GUI) program, based on the checking result; and D. loading the graphic user interface (GUI) program.”
Although no specific version of Mac OS X is mentioned in the lawsuit, the company – Operating Systems Solutions – mentions Apple sells computers in its area “including, but not limited to the MacBook Pro, that utilize the Mac OS X operating system…”
Apple is a convenient target for lawsuits with its billions of cash. However, what’s interesting is the back story of this lawsuit. The patent was originally issued to LG Electronics in 2002, then reissued in 2008. Operating Systems Solutions, noted in court it now owns “all right, title, and interest” to the patent. LG, which was not part of the lawsuit. LG happens to sell an Android-based tablet. Additionally, so far, no reports have been able to identify just what Operating Systems Solutions is or what it does.
The third oddity, as pointed out by Patently Apple, which first reported on the lawsuit, is that OSS is seeking injunctive relief from the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. An injunctive relief asks a court for a non-monetary ruling, however this case asks for damages and the immediate “destruction [of] all remaining advertisements, circulars, brochures, or other promotional or advertising items, Web site, or other materials for the infringing method.”
Apple is no stranger to the courtroom. Indeed, the Cupertino, Calif. company repeatedly says it is being sued by numerous firms. However, as rivals find it harder to compete against Apple on quality or price, patent lawsuits are becoming the newest marketing weapon. Little wonder, then, we see so much competition shifting not from features and products but from courtroom enforcement of patents and snapping up patent pools.