A U.S. court has today ruled that Apple’s iPhone infringes three patents owned by MobileMedia Ideas, a so-called “patent troll” jointly owned by Nokia, Sony, and Denver-based MPEG LA.
MobileMedia owns more than 300 patents — most of which were originally granted to Sony and Nokia. Last month, the firm used some of its IP to target the iPhone, specifically its screen rotation feature, which allows the display to turn automatically as a user rotates the handset.
Apple argued that the feature was protected by prior art, such as patent number 6,563,535, which covers a technology that displays images right-side-up “regardless of the orientation of the image or the physical orientation” of the device. But today a U.S. court found the Cupertino company’s popular smartphone to be guilty of patent-infringement.
MobileMedia Ideas first brought its complaint against the iPhone back in 2010, claiming that the device infringed 18 patents that protected screen rotation, transmitting GPS coordinates, and rejecting calls.
The firm calls itself a “patent portfolio licensor of inventions adopted by manufacturers of smart phones, mobile phones and other portable devices including personal computers, laptops, netbooks, personal media players, e-book readers, cameras and hand-held game consoles.”
Some speculate that it is actually Nokia and Sony that have targeted the iPhone, and that the pair have hidden behind MobileMedia Ideas in an effort to prevent a backlash from Apple.
We’ll be sure to bring you more information on this as it surfaces.