Apple Sued for Patent Infringement Again Over FaceTime

By Joseph Mandour on May 8, 2013

Patent LawyersLos Angeles – Once again, Apple Inc. is the target a patent infringement lawsuit concerning its FaceTime app.  The Plaintiff is National Cheng Kung University in Tainan City, Taiwan.  The claim is based on U.S. Patent No. 7,561,078, issued in 2009, which relates to a system “for compressing a video data set” that provides a “coding strategy with parameter searching” which optimizes performance.  National Cheng Kung University believes that FaceTime, among other similar applications, is an infringement.

Apple’s  FaceTime is a downloadable software application for iOS devices such as iPhones, iPads and Macs which allow users to videoconference through a built in camera on the device.  According to National Cheng Kung University, FaceTime uses “block-oriented motion compensation video compression” which infringes on its patent.

This is not the first time that Apple has been accused of patent infringement regarding FaceTime.  Last year Apple lost out in a long and drawn-out lawsuit filed in Texas by VirnetX Holding Corporation and was ordered to pay $368 million in damages related to patent infringement.  Apple also lost its attempts to appeal the verdict and have the judgment reduced.  Then VirnetX came after Apple again hitting it with another lawsuit citing the same patents, but targeting Apple’s newest product models.

This also is not the only patent infringement lawsuit that National Cheng Kung University has filed against Apple.  In another case also filed in Texas federal court, the charges against Apple concern the voice-recognition software application it developed called Siri.  Siri, also designed for iPhones, iPads and Macs, acts as an intelligent personal assistant.

Apple has been no stranger to litigation since its inception by Steve Jobs who established the company in Cupertino, California in 1976.  Most of the court battles involve either protecting or defending the company’s Intellectual Property rights.  The most notable of the recent cases is an ongoing patent battle with Samsung.  Also, for 30+ years Apple has had continual trademark disputes with Apple Corps, founded by the Beatles rock group.

National Cheng Kung University currently owns over 100 different patents registered in the United States.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement