|Uniloc is suing Apple for a single patent infringement which was filed more than 18 years ago / Photo by Emka74 via Shutterstock.com|
Apple would not have been the world’s first trillion-dollar company for nothing. It has been a market leader for different types of technology, including smartphones, computers, and smartwatches. It has grown from a mere garage startup to a tech giant that everyone either loves or hates.
Indeed, its success has attracted different parties that wish to take a slice of the (Apple) pie. One of them is Uniloc, which a lot in the industry has branded as a patent troll as it has been suing apple left and right for supposed patent infringements. One of its recent attempts to extract damages from the Cupertino company is based on a single patent that was filed more than 18 years ago in the US Patent and Trademark Office.
This patent, which was invented by Jonathan Griffiths, was for a “Method and system for electronic device authentication” that described different ways of creating a secure environment to transfer data between two devices. This particular IP covered authentication methods for different wireless protocols like Bluetooth.
It was transferred to different owners several times over the years, including Philips Electronics before reaching the hands of Uniloc Luxembourg in February of this year. The patent was then assigned in July to Uniloc 2017 LLC, which filed the lawsuit claiming that Apple used Uniloc’s patent’s idea for its mobile version of Airdrop, a first-party protocol that allows the simple transfer of large files between two devices.
This isn’t the first time that Uniloc, a non-practicing entity, has filed a lawsuit against Apple. In 2017, they went on a suing spree, alleging patent infringements against Apple’s remote software updates, Apple ID, Maps, and the GPS of the Apple Watch among others.
Probably as a consolation, Apple can look at the fact that it’s not the sole target of Uniloc’s patent trolling, as the NPE has also sued other tech companies such as Sony, Symantec, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, McAfee, and Electronic Arts just to name a few using reassigned patents or original IP that was vaguely worded to make their case.