Because Apple is a giant company that makes and designs phones, computers, software, and more, they are constantly working on coming up with the next big thing or invention. However, sometimes smaller companies or entrepreneurs may beat them to the patent office.
This is what Data Engine Technologies LLC (DET) seems to be experiencing with Apple. DET claims that they hold a patent that describes a system and method for an “improved spreadsheet interface with user-familiar objects.” However, Apple came out with a Numbers spreadsheet app, which DET is claiming infringes on their Numbers spreadsheet software patent No. 5,463,724.
The patent, originally owned by Borland, is now owned by DET. This Texas-based company recently slapped Apple with a patent infringement lawsuit, claiming that Apple is infringing on the patent it holds. In fact, they are claiming that Apple is willfully infringing on the patent, which allows them to pursue triple damages should they win the case.
DET has stated that Apple knew about their patent; however, many are wondering if DET is a patent troll because it is a non-practicing entity. The patent suit they filed is in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. Interestingly enough, Apple has been previously targeted through this court by other patent holders claiming infringement lawsuits.
DET is asking the court to award them triple the amount of damages and losses (plus interest) that they sustained as a result of Apple’s infringement. They are also requesting a permanent injunction on Apple’s infringing product.
Our Texas business litigation lawyers will follow this case and provide updates. If you feel you have a patent suit, call the Voss Law Firm at 888-614-7730 to speak with a business attorney in a free consultation today to find out more about your rights.