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Another iPhone Lawsuit Possibly On the Way

  Patent Law  -   POSTED: 2007/02/21 16:12

A company called Quantum Research has its eyes set very close on Apple's iPhone. Quantum Research claims that the iPhone infringes on two technologies that belong to Quantum. The first is the touch sensitive technology used on the iPhone and the second is the near-field proximity sensor used to detect whether or not the iPhone is being held against a person's face.

Although no formal lawsuit has been filed, Quantum Research said that the iPhone will definitely be plucked apart when it's released. Quantum Research owns patents related to charge transfer techonology, which it licensed to Motorola as well as STMicroelectronics.

According to Duncan Bryan, Quantum Research's licensing director, the capabilities of the iPhone belong to his company. “The description of the iPhone suggests it uses a rear-surface touch screen, and has proximity sensing which can tell if it is held to the ear. That’s a QR capability,” said Bryan. Interestingly, Quantum Research also sells chips to Apple that includes many of the features advertised on the iPhone. The two companies are still in talks about the clickwheel used in products like the iPod Nano.

Apple is currently facing legal action from Cisco Systems, which owns the trademark name "iPhone" and has even used the name on its Linksys products. Cisco extended negotiations with Apple until today, claiming that it would like to come to a mutually beneficial conclusion with Apple. Analysts say it is still uncertain of whether or not Apple will come out of the courtroom with the rights to use the "iPhone" name.

Apple's iPhone is also waiting for approval from the FCC before it can hit the market. Apple's website indicates "This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained."


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