Apple hit with patent suit because iPhones are phones

Patent trolls are nothing new. They may have even existed as long as it became profitable to sue people for patent infringement. Of late, however, they have increased in their aggressiveness and boldness, whether out of desperation or out of greed. Case in point this latest patent lawsuit levied upon Apple by a Texas company named Corydoras Technologies, LLC. Its beef is that all of Apple's iPhones, and some of its iPads, can make calls, take selfies, do video chats, and block incoming calls. Practically what makes a smartphone a smartphone.

The list of "Accused iPhones" and "Accused" iPads go as far back as 2010 models. Interestingly, this coincides with the years of Corydoras' patents. Specifically, all iPhones from the iPhone 4 to present and all iPads from the iPad 2 to the iPad Pro are lumped together in the lawsuit.

Corydoras' lawsuit has six counts, all of them touching on functionality that is either essential to what a smartphone is or has become standard on the device. For what phone, smart or otherwise, would be a phone if it could not make calls? Admittedly, some functionality, like a blacklist of unwanted numbers, is a rather modern invention. Having a front-facing camera that actually captures your images is also newer but has become a profitable market of its own, which probably explains Corydoras' sudden interest. Other counts include patents on displaying geographic information based on GPS as well as sending and receiving e-mails, both of which could already be done by some phones predating the iPhone or Corydoras' patents.

Corydoras itself doesn't actually use those patents in any known product. It is the very definition of a patent holding company or a patent assertion entity or a non-practicing entity. In other words, what people love to call nowadays a patent troll. It is, at least, somewhat consistent as it also sued Samsung last March for the very same reasons.

The case is almost laughable if it didn't bring to mind the also somewhat laughable state of the patent system in the US. Companies sue each other left and right over patents, and some companies like Corydoras sue larger companies for some easy cash. Apple is no stranger to patent trolls and will undoubtedly fight to get this lawsuit thrown out. Perhaps even better, Apple and Samsung could work together to get those patents invalidated so that they can never be used as weapons again.

VIA: Patently Apple