Apple is being sued for allegedly infringing patents related to media playback on its iPhone and iPad devices, a new court filing reveals.
The company suing Apple is EPL Holdings which said that Apple had the chance to license its technology way back in 2002 but it knowingly infringed on the patents instead.
According to TheNextWeb, EPL says that Apple has even met with the company to talk about licensing their technology. In the filing, EPL said:
“On or about January 28, 2002, Apple employee Tony Fadell requested a meeting with Enounce’s founder, Donald J. Hejna, Jr., to discuss the playback technology.
In response to Apple’s request, on or about Feburary 5, 2002, Mr. Hejna and another Enounce employee, Howard Giles, met with Mr. Fadell and at least two other Apple employees at Apple’s Cupertino, California offices and discussed Enounce’s patented technology.
Apple and Enounce then entered into a non-disclosure agreement (“NDA”) effective February 6, 2002, that expired on February 6, 2005.
On or about March 19, 2002, Apple employee Aram Lindahl met with Mr. Hejna and again discussed Enounce’s patented technology. At that meeting, Mr. Hejna provided Mr. Lindahl with a copy of United States Patent No. 5,175,769 (“the ‘769 patent”).
Within weeks of the March 19, 2002 meeting, Apple offered Enounce a de minimis $50,000 for a license to use Enoucne’s patented technology.
Because Mr. Hejna and his colleagues believed that the offer fell woefully short of the value of their technology, Enounce declined Apple’s offer.
Thereafter and unbeknownst to enounce, Apple began extensively using Enounce’s patented technologies by incorporating them into key Apple consumer electronics products, including but not limited to the iPhone and iPad, on which Apple makes billions of dollars in U.S. sales annually. Apple took these actions with blatant knowledge and disregard for the legal rights of Enounce.”
Tony Fadell was the Apple Senior Vice President for the iPod division at that time. He has since left Apple and founded Nest which counts the Nest Learning Thermostat as its first commercially available product.
EPL argues that Apple even markets products like QuickTime with the technology covered by their patents.
EPL argues that its ‘903 patent, granted in 2010 and is closely related to the ‘769 patent, is also being continuously infringed by Apple.
EPL says that products that infringe on the patents covering variable playback speed capabilities are but not limited to the Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac, and Mac Pro.
The company is asking that Apple be found in violation of the ‘769 and ‘903 patents and that the iPhone maker pay EPL damages, costs, expense and prejudgment and post-judgment interest for infringement of the ‘769 patent and the ‘903 patents.
EPL is asking that their trial against Apple be a jury trial.