Another Day, Another Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Apple

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Nokia is not the only company taking Apple to court over infringement of its patents. The latest mobile technology company to make that move is SoftView, a small startup based in Washington.

Softview, formerly called ClearView, has also included AT&T in the suit, which was filed on Monday.

The company offers a vector graphic display system and web browser for PDAs, cell phones, and other Internet devices. According to its website, its design and development team has been developing Vector Graphics Display systems and Internet standards since 1982 (!).

The patent SoftView claims AT&T and Apple are infringing carries number 7461353 (PDF) and was filed in January 2005, back when the iPhone was but a dream. The patent is titled “Scalable Display Of Internet Content On Mobile Devices” and lists two inventors: Gary Rohrabaugh and Scott Sherman.

The abstract reads:

Mobile devices enabled to support resolution-independent scalable display of Internet (Web) content to allow Web pages to be scaled (zoomed) and panned for better viewing on smaller screen sizes. The mobile devices employ software-based processing of original Web content, including HTML-based content, XML, cascade style sheets, etc. to generate scalable content.

The scalable content and/or data derived therefrom are then employed to enable the Web content to be rapidly rendered, zoomed, and panned. Moreover, the rendered displays provide substantially the same or identical layout as the original Web page, enabling users to easily navigate to selected content and features on familiar Web pages.

Display lists may also be employed to provide further enhancements in rendering speed. Additionally, hardware-based programmed logic may be employed to facilitate various operations.

Expect Apple to vigorously defend itself against the patent infringement claims, and perhaps even resort to counter-suing (again).

We’ve asked Cupertino for comment but don’t expect to hear back.

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