Apple Sued Over Accelerometer and Bubble Level
A patent troll is going after Apple for patent infringement of an "electronic alignment system".
Calibrait, LLC, a company with no history and apparently has been founded with the sole purpose to acquire a patent and sue for patent infringement, claims that Apple directly and indirectly infringe its patent 7,447,265 by offering accelerometers in its mobile devices as well as software that turn iPods, iPads and iPhones into electronic alignment devices. Calibrait also alleges that Apple engages in indirect infringement by enabling others to violate Calibrait's patent.
The patent in question was filed in 2005 and granted in November 2008 to John Cerwin, founder of Cerwin Tools in Illinois. Calibrait, headquartered in Irvine, California, acquired the patent from Cerwin in May of 2011. According to USPTO records, Calibrait does not own any other patents.
Back in 2005, it appears that John Cerwin envisioned mobile devices to integrate "at least two accelerometers" that are mounted "mutually perpendicular to one another" and are employed to determine "the angle of rotation of the device about an axis." He mentioned that two accelerometers can determine one angle, while three would be necessary to calculate a second angle. There is also a note of distance sensors or a gyroscope to determine a third angle.
Calibrait's focus is on the hardware as well as Apple's "Bubble Level" software that is damaging the company's interests and cause "great" and "irreparable harm". Of course, common sense suggests that Calibrait should not have acquired the patent if the company intended to avoid "irreparable harm".