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Inventor files patent suit over iPhone Web browsing

Apple is the target of a new patent-infringement lawsuit filed in Texas over the iPhone's ability to display Web sites reformatted for a mobile device.

A new patent-infringment lawsuit claims Apple's iPhone browser violates a patent on mobile Web surfing.

Apple has been hit with a patent-infringement suit from an inventor who claims to have patented iPhone-like mobile Web surfing.

EMG Technology, which appears to be a holding company for the interests of inventor Elliot Gottfurcht, filed suit against Apple on Monday in the 21st century rocket docket, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in the Tyler Division. EMG was awarded U.S. Patent number 7,441,196 in October after filing its patent application in March 2006, and thinks Apple's iPhone has run afoul of the claims in the patent.

In a basic sense, the patent supposedly covers the ability of a Web site to reformat itself to the size of the screen trying to access that site. "The '196 patent claims cover the display of Internet content reformatted from HTML to XML on mobile devices--the industry standard currently displayed by the iPhone," EMG adviser Stanley Gibson said in a press release announcing the lawsuit.

It's not clear why EMG is going after Apple, given that many companies have similar technology in the market, although EMG says the patent also covers "the technology for manipulating a region of the screen for zooming and scrolling." An Apple representative said the company does not comment on pending litigation.