∞ Apple sued for infringing digital camera patent with iPhone

St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming the company is violating several of its digital camera patents. iphoneFiled in the United States District Court in Delaware, the lawsuit claims that Apple’s iPhone camera infringes on four separate patents including the ’459, ’219, ’010 and ’899 patents the company holds.

St. Clair is not new to the patent infringement lawsuit game. In 2001, it sued Sony for infringing the same patents and won a $25 million judgement against the company. In 2003, it sued Canon and was awarded $34 million in damages.

Since then, St. Clair has filed suit against every major camera maker in the world including Fuji, Kyocera, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus and Casio. It also filed lawsuits against Samsung, Panasonic, Nokia, HP, Kodak, LG, Motorola, RIM and Palm, among many others.

Many of the companies sued for patent infringement have entered into licensing agreements with St. Clair.

St. Clair is seeking damages and a jury trial.



  • http://www.basilweb.net Walt

    They’ve got a good track record eh?

    • Jim Dalrymple

      They have an extremely good track record.

  • Eric

    Beats an honest living for easy money.

  • John

    So for those of us that are not very familiar with patent searches, what technology do these patents cover that Apple is allegedly infringing on?

  • http://www.basilweb.net Walt

    Well, here we go.

    459 – take image contained within lens and store in some type of memory.

    219 – display the picture that will be taken in some type of display window.

    010 – one of the first ones, push button in order to capture image.

    899 – make images contained within some type of memory and make them viewable in some sort of digital camera roll.

    Or not. What do I know?

    • T Duffy

      and $20 says that these guys never developed any products with these patents. These types of companies are pretty much parasites little different than cyber squatters who give intellectual property protection a bad name. It’s like patenting an on/off switch.

  • Tim H.

    Looks like the ’459 patent predates the quicktake 100. But Apple may be able to prove they had an AD conversion solution in hand before the patent was issued, be nice to see the trolls booted off the bridge, for a change. References, mactracker, http://www.delawareiplaw.com/04-1436.pdf

  • TA

    I see they are in the Detroit burbs. This must be Michigan’s new growth industry – we can’t make anything anymore, so we sue other people who do.

    • Sam Jones

      >>I see they are in the Detroit burbs. This must be >>Michigan’s new growth industry – we can’t make >>anything anymore, so we sue other people who do.

      Hmmm, Michigan? I thought that East Texas was district that is the King of Granting Frivolous Lawsuits Against Tech Companies.

  • Sam Jones

    Cha-ching!!! Money grab, money grab! Apple is rich and successful. Get a bite of the Apple now!

  • Mac-aim

    The problem is not the company, it’s the patent system. However, once it has been patented, we can’t blame the company for requesting money for what it has rights on….

  • Algores Nutz

    So does this mean they can sue Matthew Brady’s estate? Or Alexander Gardner?

  • Rick Cain

    I’m going to patent the putting of the left leg in pants, then the right leg.

    Any infringers will be served with a letter from my attorney.

    • Jim Dalrymple

      DAMNIT!!! How much do I owe you? :)

  • charli

    one thing that is worth examining is if these patents are actual technology or just ideas. because in recent years, idea patents have become less of a win in the courts.

  • Jeff

    I still don’t get how they can sue Apple or any of the others for damages they didn’t break anything in fact they made it work.

    So the way patent law works is you come up with a painfully obvious idea but you have no idea how to make it work, get a patent and wait for some one much smarted than you to actually build the thing. then sue and wait for the check.

  • Dan

    It was stupid people working at the patent office that approved any sort of patent when computers came out.

    Every single technology patent needs to be reexamined to ask, does anything in the patent involve an innovative use of technology or proprietary inventions, or was this just a vague description of a common knowledge applied to the digital era.

    For instance, amazon has a patent on one click check out. How is this substantially different, besides being on a computer, from me walking up to a counter, seeing something I like, pointing at it, and paying.

    The reason these companies keep winning though, it that once one company settles, it sort of validates the patent no matter how brain dead they are.

  • Orville Wright

    Not defending a bad system but I think in Amazon’s case they were only precluding some lowlife from trying to rip them off for the idea i.e. protect themselves as opposed to trying to rip off anybody else who uses it? Again not defending the bad system but patent law the world over is dreadful and you may find that some of the ideas were dreamt up by a lone individual who has neither the time/money or inclination to get involved in legalities and so they essentially sell a stake in there idea to these intellectual property companies for a form of protection. Organised crime springs to mind. As usual the Co.’s only go after the money!