Apple hit with China lawsuit over FaceTime patent

By , Aug 7, 2012

It just doesn’t seem like Apple’s legal team can catch a break these days. Even when it’s not fighting major handset-makers in high profile patent trials, it’s still dealing with smaller lawsuits over Siri and other features.

And today we add another one to the list. A Taiwanese man is claiming that Apple’s FaceTime service directly infringes on a patent he holds regarding “voice network personal digital assistant,” and has just filed a lawsuit…

MIC Gadget points to the case, which the plaintiff, known as ‘Lee,’ just filed in the Zhenjiang Intermediate People’s Court. He hasn’t named a specific amount for damages yet, but he has asked Apple to cease the violation.

“Lee is a technician of a Taiwanese tech company, he needed to travel aboard to various cities for work, therefore he always made international cal to his company, parents and friends. Due to this reason, Lee was inspired and came up with an idea of implementing internet call feature on phones. Subsequently, he applied for a patent for this idea in 2003.”

The report says that at the time, the patent belonged to Lee’s company, but it has since been transferred into his name. Lee says he recently discovered that the FaceTime function violated his patent, while using the feature on his new iPhone 4S.

Now, this may seem like a minor ordeal to Apple now, but it could blow up into something bigger. Remember, a tiny lawsuit over the iPad trademark ended up costing the company $60 million dollars and several months in lost iPad sales.

That being said, we wouldn’t be surprised if we never heard about this again. But we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for any further developments.

[TheNextWeb]

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604885391 Richard Borkovec

    Wouldn’t this also go against Skype and Tango? FaceTime isn’t the first app to do video calling on a phone. I’m surprised this wasn’t brought up earlier.

    • http://www.facebook.com/derfaust.mobile Der Faust

      they don’t have near the cash apple does……but if it works im sure few more letters will go out.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604885391 Richard Borkovec

        Well look at the iPad trademark. That company didn’t have the money Apple has, and they got $60 million. I honestly doubt this will go any further because it could go also go against things like Skype and Tango, so I’m sure MS would throw their weight in here too.

  • markfulaytar

    So are u saying this could result in face time becoming extinct?

  • @dongiuj

    Yeah right. Video calling on a monile phone has been available in Japan for the past 6-7 years.

  • Donovan Wynter

    every company seems to be getting a taste for apples these dayz Tim Cook needs to put alittle posion on it and give it to them fckrz………

  • Robbert Lucassen

    It is probably a minute detail in the iOS UI that triggers this. Thumbnail image overlay in two way video calling on a mobile device is not Apple’s idea. PIP (Picture In Picture) they call it in Japan ! With regard to Apple-Samsung Lawsuits, everything is open to discussion now!

  • http://twitter.com/Napaceni Hamce M

    Do people even use FaceTime??

  • http://www.facebook.com/xxLIUZHENYUxx Liu Zhenyu

    So many retards trying to steal the entire country of amazing apple products for his selfishness of money something minor he created. It is noting compared to apple, and see how his bullsh*t sucks

    • @dongiuj

      And you need to calm down, wash your mouth out and refrain from using the word retard.

      • http://www.facebook.com/xxLIUZHENYUxx Liu Zhenyu

        Fuck ur mom r u a kid? So childish to use wash ur mouth

      • @dongiuj

        I sense so much anger in you. Please calm down. Somebody may report you if you continue like this. I will only accept your childish and abusive remarks once.

  • http://www.facebook.com/edmkec Edmond Koh

    I use FaceTime a lot and am constantly amazed with the clarity over video calls compared to other video chat services out there.

    Gotta agree with Liu, indeed those retards out there trying to sue Apple over insignificant features with the hope of sapping some money from the billion dollar making company. It’s just sad to see such cases and sometimes, I find it really ridiculous. Why don’t we start suing China for fake eggs or cabbages?

  • Kok Hean

    Taiwan ≠ China

  • http://twitter.com/oneBurge Burge

    FaceTime is nothing new for mobile devices .. UK carrier 3 had this 10/11 years ago.. It was a selling point on there network and it was over 3G . I even had it . I think the phone I used was a Nokia N70 which is which is like 7 years old now.. And I’ve still got the phone..

  • http://twitter.com/redsymphony Red Symphony

    people just want money this suing stuff is annoying im a wait until winter slip on ice and sue somebody seems to be the trend now a days why not

  • http://twitter.com/redsymphony Red Symphony

    and im going to sue apple for making the iphone taller and not wider if all these pics prove to be true

  • http://twitter.com/franklylife Frank Anthony

    Let them sue Apple… Afterall Apple sued Samsung for copying! Like i said earlier, every company copy including Apple. Without copying there won’t be business. Well, i will soon sue Apple for $1 Billion LMAO

  • http://www.facebook.com/sydney.liu.161 Sydney Liu

    Ppl are so ignorant. Because you did not invent anything useful, does’t mean someone else didn’t. Talking without thinking is like crapping without wiping. Yew. …stinks.