updated 10:25 am EDT, Thu March 31, 2011
Search, advertising essential part of complaint
A firm called H-W Technology has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against 32 different high-tech companies, reports say. Targeted corporations include the likes of Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and RIM. H-W's complaint specifically revolves around a single patent awarded in April 2009, dubbed Internet Protocol Phone with Search and Advertising Capability.
Documented in the claim is "a software platform in an Internet Protocol (IP) phone having the ability to be used with different communication infrastructures such as broadband, wireless communication and Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) service." It also "has the ability to be used with different applications," and "perform additional functionality" above conventional phones. H-W primarily concentrates on "searches and advertising, given its [the technology's] ability to converge voice and data within a single terminal."
The company additionally suggests that the patent covers smartphones. Some other businesses listed as defendants include LG, eBay, Hotels.com, Priceline, Expedia, Buy.com, Samsung and Verizon. The case is being handled through a court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, and calls for permanent injunctions against patent violators plus cash damages and an additional penalty for knowingly infringing. More likely though is out-of-court settlements, given the potential expenses of fighting the case.