Apple, Sony and four other companies were sued by Graphics Properties Holdings Inc, formerly known as Silicon Graphics, for allegedly infringing a patent through their sale of mobile phones and other electronic devices.
The has claimed that the technology firms
have infringed patents for a process that turns text and
images into pixels displayed on screens.
The defendants are Apple, Samsung, Sony, LG Electronics,
HTC and Research in Motion (RIM).
A letter written by GPH's lawyers to
the US International Trade Commission (ITC) says the
dispute centres on three patents filed in February 1998,
November 2003 and November 2004.
The documents discuss a "hardwired supercomputer data
processing apparatus" - a graphics program designed to
improve the quality of images shown on a screen, and a
wide aspect ratio LCD screen with a high resolution
According to the lawsuits, the devices that infringe
GPH's intellectual property include the Apple iPhone; the
LG Thrill; the HTC EVO4G; the Blackberry Torch and
PlayBook; the Samsung Galaxy S and S II; and the Sony
Silicon Graphics filed for bankruptcy in 2009.
RIM's representatives wrote to their letter to ITC: "The Blackberry Torch and
PlayBook devices provide a combination of features that
may not be available on any competing product and are
essential for certain public interest applications,
including security and medical applications. Accordingly, any exclusion of RIM's accused devices will
adversely affect public health, safety, and welfare in
the United States."
Apple's submission said: "This broadly worded scope of
GPH's proposed investigation reaches numerous devices and
components, most of which have no connection to the
asserted patents.To the best of Apple's knowledge, GPH neither develops
nor manufacturers any product, including any product that
competes with the devices that would be subject to any
"Across all of the patent claims sought to be asserted by
GPH against all of the proposed respondents, the only
product categories for which specific alleged unfair acts
are detailed are smartphones, tablet computers, and
televisions containing LCD panels with wide aspect
ratios," Samsung said. "The currently-requested investigation, however, would
reach not only products in those categories but the far
broader universe of 'Consumer Electronics And Display
Devices And Products Containing Same'", the Korean company added.