A US court has ruled that Apple’s iPhone infringes on three patents held by MobileMedia Ideas, a shell company that exists to enforce patents held by Nokia and Sony, reports Bloomberg.
MobileMedia is a company that is actually owned by Nokia, Sony and MPEG-LA. It was formed in January of 2010 as an entity for enforcing those companies’ patents. Essentially, MobileMedia is there so that Sony and Nokia don’t have to get their hands dirty enforcing their own patents.
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To take this one step deeper, Declan McCullagh at Cnet pointed out in November that MPEG LA, a Denver based company, is reportedly being probed by the U.S. Department of Justice over antitrust violations. The CEO of both MPEG LA and MobileMedia is Larry Horn.
A screen rotation patent (US 6,441,828) was among those ruled earlier this year as reason enough for a case to proceed.
The Verge dug up the three patents infringed in the patent. One of them is the call rejection patent (US 6253075), another is one that details a way to control call status like hold, end or what have you (US 6070068). The third is one for a mobile communications device that contains a camera, display, CPU and input method that can transmit a captured image to another device (US 6427078)
The deliberation lasted for about four hours after a weeklong trial. Horn is quoted as saying that MobileMedia is very pleased. “We think it’s justified,” said Horn, adding that the damages could be “substantial”.
There are 18 patents in total claimed by MobileMedia including the muting of incoming calls, the rejecting of incoming calls and the transmission of GPS coordinates. MobileMedia is the older of around 300 patents.
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