Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Jury selection begins in NetAirus v. Apple suit over smartphone tech

updated 12:40 pm EST, Tue November 12, 2013

Apple still considers NetAirus parent invalid

Jury selection is slated to begin today in the long-running NetAirus v. Apple lawsuit, Bloomberg reports. The case, first filed over three years ago, complains that the iPhone violates a 1997 patent held by NetAirus owner Richard Ditzik, documenting a handheld device merging a computer with wireless communications over local- and wide-area networks. Apple has maintained that the Newton MessagePad achieved similar technology as early as 1994, rendering NetAirus' patent obsolete.

"The technology at issue was so well known at the time NetAirus filed its patent, that independent patent watchdogs have made NetAirus's patent a poster child in the movement to limit the proliferation of facially invalid patents," Apple wrote in a July 2011 petition to dismiss the case. In 2012 US District Judge John Kronstadt allowed the suit to go forward, on the basis of NetAirus' claim that the iPhone violates a patent for a phone configured as a PDA that switches between Wi-Fi and cellular. The company was, however, denied a motion to add the iPad and more recent iPhones to the scope of the complaint.

As the case moves towards trial, NetAirus will be limited in the damages it can potentially claim. A May 2013 ruling in Apple's favor prevented any damage payments from being collected for infringements before October 8th, 2012; that's when the US Patent and Trademark Office issued a re-examination that Kronstadt agreed would "substantially" change the claims of the NetAirus patent. The company can currently only pursue damages from iPhone 4 sales after the October 2012 marker. Via a separate complaint submitted in May however, the company is pursuing damages from the iPad, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5.

NetAirus suffered another setback on November 8th, when Kronstadt excluded testimony from Joseph Gemini, the company's damages expert. The judge decided that Gemini's view that royalties should be set at $3 per unit for one patent claim and $3.50 per unit for five others was missing quantitative analysis and wasn't reliable. Also blocked was testimony from Ditzik, arguing that a royalty rate of 3 to 5 percent of US sales would be reasonable. "An opinion setting forth a 3-5 percent royalty rule of thumb based on 'patent articles on the web' is improper expert opinion offered by a lay person," Kronstadt commented.



By Electronista Staff
toggle

Comments

  1. ibugv4

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-12-03

    I know that I was sending email via complex modem and cell phone rig on a Newton in 1997 ....

Login Here

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

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Dell AD211 Bluetooth speaker

For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solution ...

VisionTek 128GB USB Pocket SSD

USB flash drives dealt the death blow to both the floppy and Zip drives. While still faster than either of the old removable media, sp ...

Kodak PixPro SL10 Smart Lens Camera

Smartphone imagery still widely varies. Large Megapixel counts don't make for a good image, and the optics in some devices are lacking ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News