US court rules iPhone infringes upon patents with ties to Sony, Nokia

Infringing iPhone

Apple's iPhone has been found to infringe on three patents jointly owned by Sony, Nokia and MPEG LA in a U.S. District Court jury decision handed down in Delaware on Thursday.

According to The Verge, Apple's iconic iPhone violates three technology patents held by MobileMedia Ideas, part of a lawsuit filed in 2010 which originally included 18 total patent claims.

Two of the violations are related to how incoming calls are processed, while the third applies to how a camera image is transmitted to another location on a mobile phone equipped with both a display and camera.

Apple attempted to have the MobileMedia case tossed in November citing prior art, a claim which Judge Sue Robinson denied.

The MobileMedia connection

A self-described "patent portfolio licensor" for mobile technology inventions, MobileMedia Ideas is a subsidiary of Tagivan LLC - the Maryland-based parent company for IP licensor MPEG LA, with minority investors including Sony and Nokia.

MobileMedia spokesman Tom O'Reilly told TechRadar the firm, founded in 2010, currently holds around 300 technology patents.

"Our hope all along was to license our portfolio of patents," O'Reilly said following the judgment. "We hope Apple and other companies will choose to license our patents in the future."

Apple has yet to respond to TechRadar's request for comment, but MobileMedia Chief Executive Officer Lawrence A. Horn told Bloomberg, "We're very pleased. We think it's justified."

What's next

Included in the portfolio of patents that didn't make the cut is one originally granted to Sony for digital picture frames, specifically covering how the screen on such devices can be rotated to portrait or landscape mode depending on how the device is held.

Apple's iPhone was cleared of alleged violations for that claim, along with 14 others including "transmitting GPS coordinates" for mapping applications.

O'Reilly refused to discuss which iPhone models are affected by the decision or speculate on what comes next, but MobileMedia and Apple will head back to court in the near future to discuss damages on the just-handed down judgment.

Via The Verge