Texas firm suing Apple over call forwarding feature found in iPhone 4S/5

By , Jun 19, 2013

call forwarding ss

Apple’s no stranger to being on the defendant side of patent infringement lawsuits. In addition to its ongoing court battle with Samsung, there are a number of smaller companies hoping to squeeze some money out of the tech giant via patent suits. And today, we’re adding another one to the list.

Texas-based Bluebonnet Telecommunications filed a lawsuit against Apple yesterday in an [surprise] Eastern District Texas courtroom, claiming that the call forwarding feature found in the company’s iPhone 4S and 5 handsets infringes on one of its patents it has owned for over a decade…

The patent in question is U.S. Patent No. 5,485,511, which as AppleInsider notes, covers a “method and apparatus for determining the telephony features assigned to a telephone.” More specifically, it describes a telephone that talks to a central switch to display a list of telephony features.

On the surface, Bluebonnet looks like your typical patent troll. It acquired the 511 patent from Siemens Rolm Communications back in June of 1996, and in addition to this Apple lawsuit, it is using it in infringement suits against a number of high profile tech companies including Pantech and Samsung.

The firm is seeking financial damages resulting from the 511 patent infringement, as well as a permanent injunction barring Apple from further infringingment. The company is also requesting that the court add pre-judgment and post-judgment interest on the total amount of damages awarded.

You can follow the case under Civil Action No. 2:13-cv-00513, no judge has been assigned yet.

In somewhat related news, it was announced earlier today that Apple’s intellectual property chief, Boris Teksler, has left the iPhone-maker to join French media company Technicolor.

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  • George Yfantopoulos

    Samsung is past. HTC is the new opponent…

    • milksop held

      That’s why 95% of the profit from selling android phones goes to Samsung…

      • Maxim∑

        No. Samsung has about ~25% of android sales. Followed by Motoroloa, HTC and Huwaei. And even though Samsung manufacters hardware for a lot of these companies they certainly do not take 95% of the profit….

      • RarestName

        I thought that sales don’t matter?

      • milksop held

        Well sales don’t nessacarily reflect how good a phone is but they are needed to be a competiter…

    • http://www.eraser.org B. Braun

      HTC has a contract with Apple…

      • George Yfantopoulos

        Seriously? :O What kind of contract? :O

      • http://www.eraser.org B. Braun

        Search Google for ”
        Apple and HTC find patent peace”

      • George Yfantopoulos

        I saw the link you gave me….

  • Patrick

    there gonna loose, small company is no match for apple

  • NEWYORKMINUTE10

    Cody Lee you are strange. When Apple accuse other companies for patent use it’s okay when other companies do that they are trolls. Too much big Apple Fanboy I guess. Btw fire that ass*ole Christian Zebbref

    • Michael Allen

      By using the term “fanboy” you have identified yourself as too ignorant to have a meaningful opinion and therefor should simply go away.
      Thanks for your time.

      • NEWYORKMINUTE10

        So what’s your point?

      • Stephen Michael Simon

        Go away would be the point.

      • NEWYORKMINUTE10

        and?

      • Stephen Michael Simon

        No, that’s it, no “and”. Bye bye

      • NEWYORKMINUTE10

        Don’t just comment next time then

  • Michael Allen

    So why bring it up now? God I hate these patent troll fuckers.

    • Gorgonphone

      cause they can get some $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      • Michael Allen

        Sadly that’s probably true, and the only reason…

  • Gorgonphone

    great feature ji use it al the time i wish there was an sbsetting toggle for it..

  • Stephen Michael Simon

    Am I wrong, or isn’t this the same feature that is on many phones? I swear my old Motorola Razr had the same feature. I’m just asking, not preaching, lay off me trolls.