Massive lawsuit accuses Apple of infringing 16 different patents


Apple is accused of profiting off the work of others.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A mega-lawsuit from a so-called patent troll claims that Apple is infringing on 16 separate patents.

The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Texas by Seven Networks, a software company which licenses technology related to network congestion and other areas.

The patents cover a number of different features found on multiple Apple devices. These include automatic App Store downloads, push notifications, traffic optimization, and more.

As Patently Apple points out, Seven Networks appears to make most of its money these days by enforcing its patent portfolio. (This is the reason some refer to these non-practicing entities as patent trolls.) A look at the company’s website suggests that it has not been particularly active in other ways recently. Its most recent press releases date back to 2014.

Apple is a major target

Apple is frequently targeted by companies looking to enforce patents. That’s presumably because of Apple’s size, which makes a possible way against Apple in court very valuable. The East District of Texas is a favored location for patent trials on account of their tendency to award large sums in damages.

To battle this, Apple has recently closed two of its retail stores in the region. Since it will have no physical presence in the area, this could make litigation trickier for companies attacking it.

We’ll report on this case as it moves forward.