Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Apple, others hit by predictive text lawsuit

updated 10:15 am EST, Thu November 15, 2007

Apple legal gains, losses

Apple is one among many companies named in a new lawsuit filed by Autotext Technologies, accusing businesses of violating a key patent, while a second New York lawsuit stemming from the stock options scandal was dimissed. Autotext in 1994 patented a technology called "computer-based transcription," which attempts to predict entries during word processing, offering suggestions as users type; because this concept is now almost ubiquitous, Autotext is suing 23 companies, among them Apple, AT&T, IBM, LG, Microsoft, Nuance, Nintendo, Sony, T-Mobile and Verizon. Cellphone makers are a particular target due to Nuance's T9 format, while Apple is subject as a result of Mac OS X 10.4 and Safari.

Autotext is owned by Acacia Research, whose sole business is acquiring and licensing patents. The company was in August accused of frivolous infringement litigation by a northern California judge, who was asked to rule in a suit dubbed Micromesh Technology Corp. v. American Recreational Products.

In a victory for Apple bosses, the company's legal team has managed to win a dismissal of a shareholder lawsuit, one which claimed that executives such as CEO Steve Jobs illegally backdated stocks for personal gain. By doing so, said members of the New York City Employees' Retirement System, Apple's real stock prices were devalued.

District Court judge Jeremy Fogel granted the dismissal by noting that Apple stock had not been altered in any noticeable way, meaning there were no damages to recover. "While the subsequent disclosure that the options were backdated might require a restatement," reads Fogel's ruling, "without a discernible drop in the stock price there is no basis upon which to establish an injury to shareholders."

The suit can still be refiled however, so long as it is phrased as a derivative case arguing that the company was hurt, not the shareholders. The suit would then likely be absorbed into an existing one.



By Electronista Staff
Post tools:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    company hurt...

    ...yes hurt and feeling a bit delicate at the moment. You don't call, you don't write...

  1. henjin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2007

    0

    Shareholders

    What Apple did to shareholders though technical to some, amounts to a thief being able to put the money back before being caught. That is the case was dismissed because the share price went up due to good products. There needs to be a loss for the case to continue. However the same greed still rules.

    This does not matter for Apple freaks but for those of us who buy Apple shares it means the same thieves still rule the roost. This could cause some of us a major loss in capital... savings.. retirement cash.

    Apple was lucky and so am I for now. However sooner rather than later Apple will be in the dock again.

    Shameful.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    another day, another

    frivolous lawsuit against Apple.

    key graf:

    "Autotext is owned by Acacia Research, whose sole business is acquiring and licensing patents. The company was in August accused of frivolous infringement litigation by a northern California judge, who was asked to rule in a suit dubbed Micromesh Technology Corp. v. American Recreational Products."

    translation: Acacia Research is in the litigation lottery business.

  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006

    0

    re: henjin

    Have you owned your stock since before the year 2000? By that time there was no more backdating, and there hasn't been any since. If you bought your stock after that, you can't say anyone stole anything from you. Even in these lawsuits, no one alleges Apple has done anything wrong since then.

    It's not just a technicality, but it's also not the major fraud some people make it out to be. I've heard it compared to Enron - totally ridiculous.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: elroth

    Not quite 2000. As from the article:

    The derivative lawsuit is based on similar claims made by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against former Apple General Counsel Nancy Heinen. The SEC sued Heinen in April, accusing her of backdating a 7.5 million-share option grant to Jobs in 2001 and earlier grants to his executive team.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

ActvContent Sync Smartband

Smartbands of all sorts are hitting the market. Some build on the buzz around fitness trackers, while others offer simpler features fo ...

RocketStor 6324L Thunderbolt 2 eSATA bridge

Like it or not, the shift to Thunderbolt is underway. The connection is extremely flexible, allowing for video and data to co-habitate ...

Patriot Stellar Boost XT 64GB USB 3.0 drive

A vast selection of USB memory sticks means that consumers can often find exactly the size drive they need in a configuration that can ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News