Apple TV, iTunes targeted in new patent suit

Another day, another lawsuit. This one from a Texas-based IP firm targets a slew of Apple devices, including the Apple TV.

A new lawsuit filed yesterday in Texas claims that a majority of Apple's products infringe on four patents held by EON Corporation IP Holdings.

The suit, filed by EON in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Tyler Division, targets both Apple's software services like iTunes and the App Store, as well as devices that connect to those services. That list includes the Apple TV, the iPod Touch, all iPhones since the iPhone 3G, and all generations of the iPad.

In its complaint, the Texas-based company says these devices infringe on one key patent covering "a data processing station subscriber unit with interactive video capabilities," or in plain English, a system for viewing video content. EON claims it indirectly put Apple on notice for infringing on its technology without a license through letters sent by AT&T near the end of 2011, as well as one this past August from Puerto Rico Telephone Company.

The complaint also claims some Apple devices infringe on a group of three other patents covering wireless technologies. That part of the suit wrangles in Apple's Wi-Fi accessories like the Airport Extreme and Airport Express routers.

EON was formerly TV Answer, a company that set out to add interactive polls and shopping controls through a receiver box and connected network. Since its commercial flop in the 1990s, it's become a licensing operation for its patents. In its complaint, EON notes "many of Apple's major competitors" have since paid to use its technology.

The suit, which seeks monetary damages from Apple, comes as Apple and manufacturing partner Foxconn are said to be working on early testing of an Apple TV set, a much-rumored product that is expected to debut next year.

(via PatentlyApple)


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