updated 09:30 pm EDT, Fri September 28, 2012
Patent troll files in friendly Eastern Texas court
A Texas-based patent troll has sued Apple for patent infringement in the five-year-old Numbers spreadsheet software package originally in iWork. Notoriously patent-holder friendly US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division is the unsurprising venue for the suit. Data Engine Technologies, LLC claims the software infringes on a patent on a "improved spreadsheet interface with user-familiar objects" such as embedded graphics and charts in the spreadsheet.
The suit contends that Apple had prior knowledge of the ex-Borland Technologies patent owned by Data Engine Technologies as early as 2010. Apple's iWork '08 package, the first to contain Numbers, was published in 2007. The suit is seeking unspecified damages and a sales injunction against Apple's infringing products. As with most patent troll suits, the likely goal is an out-of-court settlement to avoid the court process and lengthy litigation.