Apple Sued Over Mac OS X’s Quick Startup Times

Apple Sued Over Mac OS X’s Quick Startup Times

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.

  • Michael De

    1. Stop bashing MS for no reason, especially since start-up times for Windows 7 are just as good as OS X’s (do a simple google search for comparing boot times).
    2. While Apple is ripe for suing, it is their responsibility for checking to see whether they’re violating any patents, especially being such a large and wealthy company. Maybe the company popped up out of thing air just to sue Apple. That’s lame, but I’m not sure how much lamer it is than Apple violating patents either intentionally or out of sloppiness.

  • Mike Konapelsky

    First there are patents for buying stuff through software, now there are patents for turning on the computer.

    Since it’s obvious you can pretty much patent anything, I am going to patent the English language. Anyone who speaks it will owe me money.

  • lals82
  • JessieCliffer

    I just paiid $21.87 for an iP a d2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://bit.ly/nzgzEi

  • DrM47145

    Patent wars… yet one more typical US-dysfunctionality that at some point someone will have to address.

    It all boils down to lawyers… their perverse understanding of “rights” and “entitlement” really makes me sick.

    They are guilty of that one too.

  • meon28th

    big word… spelled incorrectly….recalcitrant

  • djgrahamj

    So their patent is for caching POST results? Lame.

  • djgrahamj

    Fuck spam.

  • Jeremy ONeal

    Well, nothing is certain here.  As a result, one should never assume this a company would arise from nowhere to simply sue or that Apple is violating anyone’s patents.

  • BrianVoll

    So Apple is getting sued because their computers boot fast?

  • lls43
  • Marsal Jimmy

    can I patent the word “patent”?
    so that the patent wars will be over.

  • CharliK

    Given that this is the core methodology for every OS and that Apple alone has been using said method for a good ten years if not more without anyone suing I’m thinking that Apple will win on this one based on various notions such as improving prior art of their own, creating a new product through major improvement (by way of actually writing software to perform the method) and simply that said company has waited so long without a peep. The courts seem to be growing  tired of that antic and even if they rule in favor of OSS they won’t likely give them much of a reward for winning. 

  • CharliK

    You assume that Apple didn’t check. For all we know they did and they had an agreement with LG to use the method in question. An agreement that perhaps OSS is not wanting to honor. Same as the whole deal with Apple having a deal over the whole IAP thing that covered 3rd party developers but when LodSys bought the company that first made the deal they decided they didn’t like the terms and are trying to squeeze said 3rd parties. 

  • djrobsd

    Maybe these trolls should sue my OCZ, Micron, and Intel for allowing people to use Solid State Drives to boot their mac in 15 seconds.

  • djrobsd

    If you think that’s bad Mike, you should do a little research on gene patents.  Yes, it’s true, our wonderful corporate loving court and legislature are allowing corporations to patent our genes!!!!  What’s next, will they patent water and air?? Wouldn’t surprise me if we have to pay a royalty just to breathe oxygen pretty soon.

  • FenTiger

    Yes, I was just awarded a patent on breathing and for a method of carrying oxygen around the body in the bloodstream. Now cough up the dosh, the lot of you.

  • Matt Musgrave

    What a ridiculous thing to sue over.  This company obviously is barely making it or just wants some fast cash, as Apple is doing something OSS has only dreamed of doing.  It’s actually kind of funny to see little start ups try to battle giants like Apple. 

  • Crossphire Dev

    Macs don’t use BIOS so I’m not sure how they can claim that their patent covers a vague POST operation in the non-existant BIOS in a MacBook Pro…

    I hereby patent the concept of creating nonsense patents that only exist for the purpose of trolling.

  • baby_Twitty

    i must quickly apply for patents to fast pooping and slow pooping process.
    Every single human being in the world who poops either too fast or takes too long to poop would have to pay me a royalty fee or get sued dry by me in courts.

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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