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Apple under fire in patent-infringement lawsuit

California-based Apple is facing a new round of business litigation. The electronics giant has been named as a defendant in a new patent-infringement lawsuit filed Jan. 10 that takes aim at almost all Apple devices.

Rembrandt Secure Computer LP and Rembrandt Patent Innovations LLC are suing Apple, arguing that the company is infringing on a patent it holds for a bootstrap process that ensures stability and integrity during a computer's initialization process. The patent was issued in 2001 and is named "Secure and Reliable Boot Strap Architecture." The suit argues that Apple's devices and servers infringe on the patent because of the methods used in the secure booting and system recovery of the devices. Some of the devices named in the lawsuit are various versions of the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

The complaint also argues that Apple knew about the alleged patent infringement since 2008 and that the patent in question was cited by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the European Patent Office and Apple itself in past prosecution of Apple's patents and applications. The plaintiffs are asking the court for damages to cover the expenses and fees involved in the lawsuit as well as "treble damages for willful infringement."

Intellectual property disputes are likely to continue making the news as businesses fight to control the technology on which people's daily lives are becoming increasingly dependent. Business litigation can include breach of contract disputes, product liability suits and fraud allegations. The guidance of a business and commercial law attorney can help those involved understand all of their options.

Source: Wall St. Cheat Sheet, "New Patent-Infringement Lawsuit Takes Aim at Apple’s Entire Product Line" Nathanael Arnold, Jan. 13, 2014

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