Guy says iPad Smart Cover violates his patent, sues Apple

A guy from Colorado apparently owns rights to a seven-year-old patent he claims resembles technologies and ideas Apple employed to create the Smart Cover case for the iPad.

Feeling confident enough, this dude filed a suit against the iPad maker in the United States District Court of Colorado, aiming to squeeze ongoing royalties out of Apple or a one-time payment of a cool hundred thousand bucks…

Aspen resident Jerald Bovino filed a lawsuit in federal court, seeking royalties for the rights to use his 2005 patent for a “Portable Computer Case”, an integral case of sorts that attaches to computing devices.

paidContent has the story:

The Bovino patent refers to a series of ribs on the case that protect the device. The iPad smart cover also contains ribs (though this doesn’t mean it is infringing. The patent was issued in 2005, six years before Apple unveiled the iPad 2 and its cover.

As the Patently Apple blog pointed out, Bovino’s claim of “resilient ribs” as being relevant to the design is never explained in the patent as to what it entails.

Patently Apple reported earlier this week that the United States Patent & Trademark Office granted Apple a design win for the iPad Smart Cover case.

Here, a quick paragraph from Bivono’s patent filing:

The present invention is directed to a portable computer having an integral case that incorporates a resilient material to protect the portable computer from wear and tear encountered when transporting and/or using the portable computer. The integral case also includes a retractable strap means that can be utilized to facilitate the transporting of the portable computer. The integral case for the portable computer also includes an identification pocket on the exterior surface of the integral case for incorporating identification documents for the portable computer.

And here’s a drawing accompanying the filing.

Doesn’t look anything like Apple’s Smart Cover design.

What say you?

Is this a case of yet another patent troll looking to make a quick buck on other people’s work?