Down in Florida today, a group by the name of Operating Systems Solutions, LCC, has found it necessary to file a patent infringement lawsuit against no less than Apple. Their suit includes finding Apple’s OS X operating system using a fast boot operation which seems to infringe on a patent originally owned by LG Electronics. The original owner, LG Electronics, seems to have filed for patent back in 1999, another granted patent being assigned again in 2002 to LG Electronics Inc, but that in its reissued granted patent form is assigned to Protimus Technologies LLC in 2008 – it is this patent that’s being quoted in the court’s document – will Apple be forced to defend connections to said original LG filing? We shall see!
The first Count of this new lawsuit reads as follows: “Apple sells or offers to sell within this district, computer systems, including but not limited to the MacBook Pro, that utilize the Mac OSX operating system that infringes at least claim 1 of the OSS [Operating System Solutions] Patent.” What this does is claim that Apple has either knowingly or unknowingly created an operating system with a feature that had been patented previously without confirming with the current patent holder that it was agreeable to do so. If the court should find that the fast-boot sequence on current OS X devices is close enough to the original patent’s description, Apple could be in a heap of trouble.
The one-time patent abstract from the original LG Electronics filing reads as follows – see if this seems similar to how your OS X Lion-toting device boots up:
“A method for quickly booting a personal computer system using boot configuration information on memory and the attached devices that was created and saved in a hard disk at the preceding boot process. The method for a quick boot process includes the steps of performing a power-on self test POST) operation when a personal computer system is powered on or a reset button is pressed; performing a normal boot process after the POST operation; saving the contents of memory and the status of the attached devices to a hard disk; checking if a reboot is requested; restoring the saved boot configuration information from the hard disk, after POST is completed during the reboot process; checking whether or not an initial device configuration file and/or an automatic batch file were changed; and executing commands in the two files and saving a newly created boot configuration information to the hard disk for future boot. The personal computer system, may reboot quickly because of omission of execution of the initial device configuration filed and the automatic batch file.”
The above is also what you’re seeing in the main image of this post, as seen above. The following paragraph is how the lawsuit claim reads, on the other hand. Decide for yourself if this matches up with the original LG Electronics patent wording:
“A method for fast booting a computer system, comprising the steps of: A. performing a power on self test (POST) of basic input output system (BIOS) when the system is powered on or reset is requested; B. checking whether a boot configuration information including a system booting state which was created while executing a previous normal booting process exists or not; C. storing the boot configuration information from execution of the POST operation before loading a graphic interface (GUI) program, based on the checking result; and D. loading the graphic user interface (GUI) program.”
Patently Apple notes that it’s suspicious that the group currently running this lawsuit, the group that goes by the name “Operating Systems Solutions LCC” doesn’t appear in a simple Google search. When this sort of situation arises, alarms should be going off that read PATENT TROLL. This type of troll is one that uses patents in a rather opportunistic way, attacking groups that may have “infringed” on said patent without any intention of actually developing the patented subject matter on their own.
[via Patently Apple]