A company called Aftechmobile filed a lawsuit on Friday at the US District Court for the Northern District of California. In the filing, the company accuses Apple of having violated at least one of the 28 claims related to a patent of its own (U.S. Patent No. 10.133.558, November 2018). The lawsuit alleges that Apple violated claim 5 of the patent by “making and selling the shortcuts apps”. This application allows users to create “custom shortcuts” that allow them to combine different steps into multiple applications. An example that Apple uses on its support page concerns the creation of a “Surf Time” connection. When activated, the iPhone can display the latest navigation report, give it its ETA to reach the beach and stream its surf music playlist. Or you can set a shortcut to your journey home from work. This could include sending a text message to the spouse and preparing the house for arrival by lowering the thermostat.
Every activity used to create a link is called an action. In the lawsuit, Aftechmobile calls these actions “pre-coded software components” and shows how the description of Apple’s shortcuts is similar to the formulation used in the patent. For example, the complainant describes that claim 5 (of” Patent 558) includes the insertion of one or more of pre-coded software components in the said interface for the creation of mobile apps started; the assembly of said insert inserted one or more than said coded software components … The cause goes on to say that” Apple describes the insertion of one or more of said software components precoded in said interface of creation of mobile applications launched as’ to add an action to its connection, tap and hold Press an action in the list, then drag it to the desired position in the link editor. “In 2017, Apple purchased Workflow, a third-party application released in 2014. Apple renamed the shortcuts of the application and made it free; comes with iOS 13 and iPadOS.
In addition to suing Apple, Friday Aftecmobile has also sued Salesforce.com in the Northern District of California. So far, Apple has not published a public statement on the legal action. As for Aftechmobile, it does not appear that the company is managing an ongoing business; The company’s website is not loaded. The lawsuit states that the company is located in Ashburn, Virginia and on LinkedIn, there are two employees listed.
The workforce was launched in 2014 and Aftecmobile did not receive its patent until November 2018
The suit asks the court to return a ruling against Apple for patent infringement 558, fair and reasonable royalty payments, pre-trial and post-trial interests at the highest rate allowed by law and a court order after the sentence. The deposit also includes a copy of the patent granted to the complainant by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The applicant and inventor of the patent are an Arshad Farooqi who appears on Crunchbase as the founder and CEO of a company called Mobrise. Also based in Virginia, this company offers next-generation mobile strategies and mobile solutions focused exclusively on offering user experiences.
Apple, with its deep pockets, is obviously an attractive target for patent trolls, not that we call a company with two employees and no company operating a patent troll. What seems a little strange is that a technology that was first launched in 2014 (as the workforce) has allegedly infringed a patent that was not granted until November 2018. In that case, a judge will not have any choice but to grant an Apple request to file the case.
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