updated 12:25 pm EDT, Thu March 31, 2011
Imperium sues Apple, Motorola for phone imaging
Previously unknown firm Imperium Holdings late Wednesday joined in the bevy of lawsuits targeting phone makers. The company sued Apple, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Nokia, RIM, and Sony Ericsson for allegedly infringing on five patents from between 2001 and 2006. All of the patents focused on mobile camera imaging technology, including low-light CMOS sensors, flicker reduction to compensate for fluorescent light, and pixel correction.
The patent unusually focuses on using old phone technology as examples. Imperium believed at least the iPhone 3G, BlackBerry Storm2, LG Voyager, and three obsolete phones from other firms were used as reference points.
Like many lawsuits of its kind, the Imperium case is aiming to get a permanent ban on infringing the patents as well as damages. The company is likely seeking a settlement or royalties before it gets to trial.
Imperium fits the classic definition of a patent troll both through its origins and its strategy for the case. The company is based in the Cayman Islands, often used for off-shore accounts, and is likely either a proxy firm or a company design to profit as much as possible while avoiding US taxes. Its lawsuit was also filed in the Eastern District of Texas, an area whose courts are known to often side with patent trolls in disputes.
A search for Imperium online turned up no online presence or sign that it had any meaningful products. The lawsuit may have first surfaced in mid-March but wasn't officially filed until Wednesday.