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Apple hit with lawsuit involving caller ID technology

In the latest legal turn, the Apple is accused of stealing Cequint's technology for its caller ID feature.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
Expertise Mobile, 5G, Big Tech, Social Media Credentials
  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Roger Cheng

Apple is accused of illegally using another company's caller identification technology in its mobile device, the latest in a seemingly unending wave of patent lawsuits.

This time, the plaintiff is Cequint, a company that focuses on caller ID technology and is a unit of TNS, which itself provides data communications services to businesses.

Cequint has accused Apple of damaging its own business with the continued use of its technology, and warned that it would "be irreparably harmed" unless a court mandated a ban, Bloomberg reported today.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment to CNET.

Cequint's enhanced caller-ID service uses a carrier-provided database to ensure the right name pops up on screen when someone calls, even if the number isn't stored in the phone's address book. The feature also allows a person to add the incoming caller information into the address book with a single click.

Cequint counts major telecom players as customers, including AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Samsung and HTC. As such, the company could be a valuable acquisition target if its patents are proven to be valid.

Apple is currently engaged in multiple legal battles with HTC and Samsung.