back to article Troll seeks toll because iPhones work

Apple, your iPhones are making phone calls so we're suing you: that's the substance of the latest round of patent-trolling attempt against Cupertino. The patent accumulator in the case is Texas-based Corydoras Technologies (its filing explains that it's a subsidiary of Japanese company Anubias Technologies). Its sueball …

  1. msknight
    WTF?

    If this doesn't shake up the patent system...

    ... then nothing will, and I'm buying a ticket to Mars, 'cause this planet is screwed.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: If this doesn't shake up the patent system...

      Mars it too close, another galaxy maybe. The problem with these patents is that combining the various features itself is fairly obvious but the real problem was one the hardware and infrastructure side

      1. g e

        "Capable of making a call on Mars or in another Galaxy"

        Got you

    2. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: If this doesn't shake up the patent system...

      I love these stupid sueballs.

      They make it so hard to justify the stupid IP laws they make a mockery of.

    3. DainB Bronze badge

      Re: If this doesn't shake up the patent system...

      I'm sure there is already patent for method or apparatus that can be used for buying a ticket to Mars.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: If this doesn't shake up the patent system...

        I'm sure there is already patent for method or apparatus that can be used for buying a ticket to Mars.

        ... on a mobile device.

    4. redpawn Silver badge

      Re: If this doesn't shake up the patent system...

      You can't shake a hologram, the structure is not real. You have to get at the projector. The projector is guarded by the constitution, vested interests, lawyers and politicians.

      It will take mass casualties or riots in the streets before change will happen.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What do you use a phone for if not to make voice calls?

    Isn't this exactly what the name "telephone" is supposed to mean? From the Greek roots tele meaning "from afar" and phonos meaning sound?

    Pretty sure mobile devices that allowed making voice calls existed long before Apple entered the mobile device market. Probably predates Apple.

    Edit: Seems it's certain combinations of features… voice calls and digital mirrors, etc.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: What do you use a phone for if not to make voice calls?

      There must be some magic sauce that only Apple Phones have. Why else would they not sue Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Microsoft and the rest...

      Oh wait.... Apple has $200B+ in cash. Plus there is a lot more publicity to be gained from filing suit against the fruity company than the others.

      Their lawyers must be after a new [insert luxury item of choice here].

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: What do you use a phone for if not to make voice calls?

        Apparently they have filed suit against Samsung and LG.

        Come on trolls, I dare you to take on Google and Microsoft.

        That might trigger some patent reform but would president Trump sign it?

        1. Bob Vistakin
          Facepalm

          Re: What do you use a phone for if not to make voice calls?

          Oh dear, looks like the worlds first smartphone, released in 2000 was capable of making ... phone calls. Let's hope Apple quote this in their defence, after all, prior art is so useful when it suits them.

        2. DougS Silver badge

          Re: What do you use a phone for if not to make voice calls?

          Why would suing Google or Microsoft change anything versus suing Apple and Samsung? Your logic makes no sense, unless you think Google and Microsoft have some sort of magic ability to change the laws if they're sued by a troll. Reality check: they do not.

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Apt name for a bottom feeder

    Corydoras is a genus of catfish*. Bottom feeder. Very fitting name.

    Got two of them. Cute buggers when little, not so cute when they grow up (will eat on the QT anything that does not swim out of the way).

    1. notowenwilson

      Re: Apt name for a bottom feeder

      Well I'll be damned, you're right. Very apt name indeed.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Apt name for a bottom feeder

      > Corydoras is a genus of catfish*

      Indeed. I have about 8 of them in my tank. They are pretty passive (as catfish go) - even the baby bristlenose catfish were safe from them.

      Not so safe from the Synodontus though. Or the clown loaches. I still have about 8 of the baby bristlenoses and now they are too big to be snacks.

      Cost me a fortune in extra food for the synodontus!

  4. msknight
    Mushroom

    I was hoping to find this was a belated April fools or something... but enough digging and sure enough, it's real.

    https://dockets.justia.com/docket/texas/txedce/2:2016cv00538/168397

    We're doomed.

  5. foo_bar_baz

    Let me guess

    Eastern District of Texas.

  6. Richard Jones 1
    WTF?

    April the 1st again?

    Since mobile phones existed well before these apparently dumb ass patents who allowed stupid to be patented? The Excel Pocket Phone was only slightly bigger than most modern phones, even if it did a bit less, though it was quite good for telephone calls back in the 1980s. It was not alone

  7. Andrew Moore
    Coat

    Troll toll?

    If You Wanna Get Into That Boy's soul, You gotta pay the Troll Toll

    1. LumiFrey

      Re: Troll toll?

      They need to call the dayman, fighter of the nightman.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've got an idea...

    Lets patent Patent trolling...

    Here's the description:

    "A system, involving a company formed to buy unused patents... ... and then used said patents to extract monies form other legal entities..."

    (Insert diagram of money tree being shaken)

    Then use the patent to sue the patent trolls :-)

    simples

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: I've got an idea...

      Nice idea, but ironically they will already have prior art on this.......

      1. krakead
        Trollface

        Re: I've got an idea...

        Not that prior art has ever stopped a patent troll from chancing their arm.

        1. Swarthy Silver badge

          Re: I've got an idea...

          Somebody already has a patent on that.

  9. BurnT'offering
    Trollface

    The patents seem to cover

    Devices whose screens have controlled reflectivity so they can be used as mirrors.

    "It is an object of the present invention to provide a system and method to facilitate the user of the wireless communication device to see him/herself on the display therein as if he/she is seeing him/herself in a mirror."

    Phones have shiny screens, so I guess he's onto something

    1. Dan Wilkie

      Re: The patents seem to cover

      I think it means more like the PiP that pretty much every video conferencing system has.

      So they should try flinging it at MS and Skype and see how far that gets them...

  10. MJI Silver badge

    Cheapest answer

    Is to hire a hitman and dispose of them

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Cheapest answer

      Perhaps that's the best answer... patent troll attorneys start ending up in a carpet rolls in the woods and the lawsuits might just stop... Then again, there's greed and there's lawyers... together they might just think the risk is worth it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This isn't a problem with patent trolls..

    This is a problem with patent authorities granting frivolous patents.

  12. banalyzer

    Phone call but mobile

    I think Apple are fully entitled to counter sue for vexatious litigation, after all the first actual calls from a mobile phone was what? 1973 ?

    Half their cash hoard should be a sufficient amount with lack of due diligence by these people regarding worthless USPTO paper not being properly done.

    Unless the USPTO can be bought into disrepute regarding it's rubber stamping crap nothing will change.

  13. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Patent Offices have gone downhill since Albert left...

    Circa 1908 I think (about three years after his 1905).

  14. Shady

    Please!!!

    ... oh I do hope it turns out that Iwao Fujisaki is a shill for Samsung...

  15. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    "Proving yet again...

    ...that if the law is an ass, patent law attracts Sir Mixalot fans."

    Oh VERY good, he said, reaching for the screen wipes.

  16. Psymon

    Let me get this straight....

    You're a patent troll with a weak claim, and you decide that your first target should be one of the wealthiest companies on the planet that since the death of SCO, has the most vicious, underhanded, money grabbing, uncaring, vitriolic legal departments of the modern world?

    Best of luck with that! I hate patent trolls, but I actually feel sorry for these guys. I'll be surprised if they leave the court room with all their internal organs.

    1. chr0m4t1c
      Joke

      Re: Let me get this straight....

      >since the death of SCO, has the most vicious, underhanded, money grabbing, uncaring, vitriolic legal departments of the modern world?

      They're suing Apple, not Disney.

  17. Gnosis_Carmot

    Paging Mr. Alexander Graham Bell...

    Butler : Sir, there is a patent troll here to see you.

    AGB : A what?

    B : A patent troll.

    AGB : What the devil is a patent troll.

    B : Unknown sir, but he claims to have invented your telephony device.

  18. John Tserkezis

    Apple’s Accused iPhones and Accused iPads are capable of voice communication.

    I wish to contest that at least some of the iPhone 4 series, due to antennagate, were unable to be used for voice communication, thus should be made exempt to this patent suite.

  19. DiViDeD Silver badge

    Selectively reflective

    Believe it or not, they really *are* talking about physical reflection. The 'prior art' in patent 6,895,259 makes this quite clear.

    Funnily enough, I have an old radio which has a featureless mirror front panel when turned off, but, when activated, displays alphanumeric station info, tuning strength indicator, frequency and all controls as apparently solid switches and boxes with depth, which all disappear without trace once you switch it off again.

    And it's a shitload of years older than any of these patents.

  20. Medixstiff

    Personally the judge should be able to make the lawyers liable, if the company tries to sue and then knowingly files for bankruptcy if they fail and costs are awarded to Apple.

    That should make the bottom feeding wastes of space think twice, if they have to foot the bill out of their own pockets.

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