Apple is no stranger to legal action and famously became embroiled in a bitter patent dispute with Samsung. Furthermore, Apple aggressively protects its intellectual property at the expense of their public reputation. The company has been sued for anti-trust violations including an eBook price-fixing lawsuit. Furthermore, Apple once faced a number of class action lawsuits and engaged in legal proceedings against Nokia, HTC, Kodak, Motorola Mobility and more!
The latest company to sue Apple, is Immersion which claims Apple’s haptic feedback systems on the iPhone 6/6s Plus and Watch/Watch Sport/Watch Edition infringes two of their patents. The patents in questions are no. 8,619,051, entitled, “Haptic Feedback System with Stored Effects,” and “Method and Apparatus for Providing Tactile Sensations” filed under no. 8,773,356. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus allegedly infringe parent no. 8,659,571 named “Interactivity Model for Shared Feedback on Mobile Devices.” Immersion CEO, Victor Viegas said about the lawsuit:
“While we are pleased to see others in the industry recognize the value of haptics and adopt it in their products, it is important for us to protect our business against infringement of our intellectual property in order to preserve the ecosystem we have built and the investments that we have made in continuing to advance haptic experiences. We will vigorously defend the intellectual property we have developed when it is infringed.”
As you might expect, Immersion is demanding compensation for an undisclosed amount. Not only that, the company filed a complaint with the ITC, “seeking an exclusion order preventing the importation, sale for importation, and sale after importation of infringing Apple devices into the United States by the defendants…”. Clearly, the company feels Apple’s product range was successful due to the haptic technology and wants a cut of the profits. The most likely outcome is an out of court settlement, but only time will tell.
Do you think Immersion has a valid case?