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Expanded lawsuit claims “millions of devices” (PDAs, cellphones) infringe

June 24, 2008 0 Comments

According to this story over at PocketLink, Typhoon Touch Technologies has “‘significantly expanded’ its patent infringement suit begun in December 2007 against Dell by adding Apple, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Lenovo, Panasonic, HTC, Palm, Samsung, Nokia and LG” — in other words, just about every firm that manufactures a “portable computer with touch screen and computer system employing the same.” The patents in question are US Patents 5,379,057 (filed in 1993, issued in 1995) and 5,675,362 (filed in 1994 and issued in 1997). Typhoon’s own press release on the expansion can be found on their home page. (Curiously missing from the lawsuit: Motorola.)

Since PDA-like devices date back to the 1980s, and John Sculley announced the Apple Newton — complete with a touch screen — in early 1992, a year before the earlier patent was filed, one wonders whether these patents can hold up under prior art, and it’s unclear why the patents were granted in the first place.

On the other hand, there are some curious information gaps on the web. Just last week (see entry for 05:29, 18 June 2008), someone stripped out the “History” section of the Wikipedia article on PDAs, which — before being deleted — documented PDAs going back to 1983. Likewise, a commonly-linked article — “The Evolution of the PDA: 1975-1995” by Evan Koblanz — appears to have been pulled off the web. (Google doesn’t have a cached version, nor does the Internet Wayback Machine.)

Sounds as though someone may be trying to do historical revision in advance of trial. ..bruce..

About the Author:

Webster is Principal and Founder at at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor for the BYU Computer Science Department. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at 303.502.4141 or at

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