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Apple Sued Over Accelerometer and Bubble Level

By - Source: Priorsmart | B 33 comments

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".

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Top Comments
  • 32 Hide
    memadmax , January 31, 2012 1:32 AM
    Well, whatever it takes to serve apple with a dose of its' own medicine...........
  • 30 Hide
    oparadoxical_ , January 31, 2012 1:25 AM
    Oh karma.

    But seriously, our patent system is so messed up right now. These patent trolls are getting ridiculous.

    And *insert random joke about patenting random things here*
  • 22 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , January 31, 2012 1:54 AM
    @jsc

    If 'prior art' doesn't work for the companies Apple has sued successfully defeating legitimate prior art claims(and subsequently taken competing products off shelves), Apple doesn't deserve to be able to have that defense.
Other Comments
  • 30 Hide
    oparadoxical_ , January 31, 2012 1:25 AM
    Oh karma.

    But seriously, our patent system is so messed up right now. These patent trolls are getting ridiculous.

    And *insert random joke about patenting random things here*
  • -9 Hide
    leon2006 , January 31, 2012 1:29 AM
    OK give the company $1
  • 32 Hide
    memadmax , January 31, 2012 1:32 AM
    Well, whatever it takes to serve apple with a dose of its' own medicine...........
  • 18 Hide
    jsc , January 31, 2012 1:47 AM
    Considering Apple's conduct in the past, it is hard to be too sympathetic, but Apple's defense should be able to be summed up in two words: "Prior art".
  • 22 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , January 31, 2012 1:54 AM
    @jsc

    If 'prior art' doesn't work for the companies Apple has sued successfully defeating legitimate prior art claims(and subsequently taken competing products off shelves), Apple doesn't deserve to be able to have that defense.
  • 18 Hide
    eddieroolz , January 31, 2012 2:18 AM
    Let's get past our dislike for the usual Apple tactics, and look at the real problem here...of patent trolling.

    The system should be reformed so any patent would require a commercially viable product to be sold for some determined period of time, to allow the patent to be valid. This would eliminate this type of patent troll companies, at least.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , January 31, 2012 2:53 AM
    Here is example of the ridiculousness of the patent system. There is nothing unique or non-obvious about either of these patents. Its just basic programming and engineering, nothing that deserves economic protection. (And yes the same is true of many of the Apple patents)
  • 12 Hide
    otacon72 , January 31, 2012 3:08 AM
    I don't like Apple but these companies are just trash.
  • 11 Hide
    biscuitasylum , January 31, 2012 3:20 AM
    Just pick something and sue... seriously... it will settle out of court. its that easy. tomorrow im going down to a store that serves coffee in Styrofoam cups that doesnt have "contents hot" written on them and since I can handle pain... im spilling that sucker all over me... bam... theres that 10,000 computer system ive been wanting.

    This is how ridiculous this sue happy society has become.
  • 2 Hide
    face-plants , January 31, 2012 3:22 AM
    otacon72I don't like Apple but these companies are just trash.


    I agree completely. I think it's a complete abuse of the system to create a corp. and buy a patent just to sue someone. Having said that....who better could he possibly have chosen than Apple.

    I think Samsung should finance all these suits against Apple as revenge for the whole German court blocking all Galaxy tab sales in Europe for however many weeks that was. Apple has a hell of a lot of bad karma to get through when it comes to litigation.
  • 4 Hide
    DjEaZy , January 31, 2012 4:12 AM
    ... patent trolls... and stop acta... patents slows down progress...
  • 8 Hide
    robbo79 , January 31, 2012 5:19 AM
    how about the gov't changes its push for SOPA, maybe -

    stop obvious patent abuse ??
  • 2 Hide
    Vladislaus , January 31, 2012 6:07 AM
    jscConsidering Apple's conduct in the past, it is hard to be too sympathetic, but Apple's defense should be able to be summed up in two words: "Prior art".

    How can Apple claim prior art if this patent was filled in 2005 and their first iPhone was launched in 2007? Of course this is still another abuse of the patent system.
  • 4 Hide
    Vorador2 , January 31, 2012 6:16 AM
    Oh the irony
  • 5 Hide
    madooo12 , January 31, 2012 7:17 AM
    apple will sue them for infringement of their patent trolling patent
  • 0 Hide
    mrmaia , January 31, 2012 8:06 AM
    I hate patent trolling, but I must say... TAKE THAT, APPLE!

    I don't like the way Douglas described the company though:

    Quote:
    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


    Looks tendencious.
  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , January 31, 2012 9:47 AM
    I think the patent system should be revised AT LEAST so that a person can only sell a patent to a company with real commercial use with the patent in a product.
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , January 31, 2012 10:01 AM
    eddieroolzLet's get past our dislike for the usual Apple tactics, and look at the real problem here...of patent trolling.The system should be reformed so any patent would require a commercially viable product to be sold for some determined period of time, to allow the patent to be valid. This would eliminate this type of patent troll companies, at least.


    there need to be 2 patent systems, bug business ones, where they need a viable product, and consumer level, where they need a detailed schematic.

    protects the extremely smart hobbiests and inventors not in corperat pockets, while allowing corporations some ability to protect their innovations....

    there would be some leway for companies who are underfunded and cant produce the product in a timely manor. got to also look out for the little guys.
  • -3 Hide
    dickcheney , January 31, 2012 12:31 PM
    eddieroolzLet's get past our dislike for the usual Apple tactics, and look at the real problem here..


    The real problem being... Apple!
  • -2 Hide
    g4114rd0 , January 31, 2012 1:13 PM
     by the way, the damage would be compensated;
    +1
    Iphone 5 without accelerometer, there is no doubt that right Thinking.
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