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Court rejects long-standing patent suit against Apple

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismisses the suit regarding Apple Computer's ColorSync software, which Imatec filed in 1998.

A court has dismissed a long-standing patent suit regarding Apple Computer's ColorSync software, the company said today.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has rejected the $1.1 billion lawsuit, filed by New York-based Imatec in Feb. 1998. The suit alleged that Apple had infringed three U.S. patents related to color calibration of computer equipment, first filed by Imatec's president, Hanoch Shalit.

"We are pleased that the judge threw out this frivolous lawsuit," Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, said in a statement. "Our customers can now lay to rest any concerns raised by Imatec's lawsuit."

The dismissal came after the judge found that Imatec and Shalit do not own the patents on which the suit was based and that ColorSync does not infringe on these patents anyway, Apple said.

Cupertino, California.-based Apple had said previously that it has marketed the technologies in question since 1985.

Apple's ColorSync software, which it introduced in 1993, allows Apple computer users to ensure that colors in printed documents closely match the colors that appear on a computer screen.