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IP Company Goes After Power Management in Smartphones

By - Source: MJ | B 22 comments

St. Clair Intellectual Properties, a company with a history of suing mobile phone vendors over patents, has expanded a patent infringement lawsuit that has targeted Apple, RIM and HTC to LG, Motorola Mobility and Samsung.

St. Clair alleges that the Android smartphones and tablets made by LG, Motorola Mobility and Samsung violate six of its patents:

5,630,163: Computer having a single bus supporting multiple bus architectures operating with different bus parameters
5,710,929: Multi-state power management for computer systems
5,758,175
: Multi-mode power switching for computer systems
5,892,959
: Computer activity monitor providing idle thread and other event sensitive clock and power control
6,079,025
: System and method of computer operating mode control for power consumption reduction
5,822,610
: Mappable functions from single chip/multi-chip processors for computers

The filed patent infringement lawsuits are expansions of a first wave that was filed in November of 2010. St. Clair also sued Apple, RIM and in a camera related patent in 2009. The company has been rather successful with its patent suits and won $25 million in a suit against Sony Electronics and Sony Corporation of America in 2003. In 2004, the company was awarded $34.7 million in a dispute with Canon USA. There was no information on the 2010 suits against Apple, RIM and HTC.

As it is frequently the case, St. Clair has not been the original inventor of any of the patents in question. However, it has been in possession of all patents mentioned in its latest patent infringement suits since June of 2000.

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  • 17 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , January 4, 2012 1:07 PM
    GTFO Patent troll
  • 8 Hide
    mauller07 , January 4, 2012 1:15 PM
    All of those patents sound like functionality The majority of hardware and O/S's have had since the 80's.

    It is just getting ridiculous how such flimsy patents can be handed out to companies, especially those that do not produce or even research being able to hold onto patents.

    Patents were meant to help protect companies research and development from being exploited by other companies, not to allow people to make money for no work they had done.
  • 3 Hide
    mrmaia , January 4, 2012 1:17 PM
    Ahhhh the patents. Soon someone will patent the use of screens and buttons, and will immediately start sueing all over.
  • 8 Hide
    g-thor , January 4, 2012 1:29 PM
    Cue the legalese mantra - "We will vigorously defend etc., etc., harrumph, blah blah blah ... egregious violations of our IP, gollum, gollum."

    I would love to read follow-ups to these and see if any of these companies have their own IP patents that answer to St. Clair's patents. Companies like them, that exist only to buy and hold IP, have destroyed the concept of shared IP. The only way they can make money is to negotiate deals or to sue. I suspect that their asking prices in negotiation are outrageous, ensuring that they get to sue later - but that's just my opinion.

    I understand that they just want to make a living like all of us, but you can't tell me that you wouldn't make a decent living if you received one or two cents for every IP patent you hold charged on every cell phone made. iOS and Android phones saw around 6.8 million activations on Christmas day. At two cents per IP patent above, that one day would have netted $816,000.00. Charge three cents per IP patent and you make over 1 million for that day. Five cents, anyone? Yes, there is a way to make money and work together.
  • 7 Hide
    ikefu , January 4, 2012 1:42 PM
    Screw the Patent Office for giving out garbage vague patents and screw the patent trolls.

    In my opinion, non-usage companies should not be allowed to buy patents. Patent holding should be available to original inventors only. After that, you have to use the patent in order to buy it. None of this purchasing something you didn't invent and suing without any productive use.
  • 3 Hide
    huron , January 4, 2012 1:54 PM
    For the life of me, I do not understand how this is a business model...how does a company just hold onto IP? They aren't in the business of developing IP, creating anything with the IP that they do have...just suing others that user patents that they happened to have obtained.

    I know it's been said time and again, but the patent system needs some serious help.
  • -1 Hide
    alyoshka , January 4, 2012 1:56 PM
    This is really getting to be good business.... big money making business....
  • 2 Hide
    in_the_loop , January 4, 2012 2:05 PM
    Patents should only apply to the ones that actually manufacture and sell devices that are based on the patent.

    If a Patent-troll company doesn't manufacture and sell these devices, then I can't see how they would be hurt by other manufacturers that acutally does that?

    Anyway, I think that as it is today, the best and the least unfair thing would be to not having ANY patents at all!
    For example look how good the pc-market was where IBM didn't patent the pc-design and had an open architecture.
    The boom that it lead to with a huge it-industry.
    Same thing with open source.
    As it is today, only the big and rich players with patent portfolios have the chanche to make a living in the market, the small and inventive one's are screwed from the get go!

    I'm convinced that scrapping all patents would lead to a much better market as a whole, even if it in some cases would be problematic, but not in any way near how unfair it is today!
  • 2 Hide
    willwayne , January 4, 2012 2:38 PM
    My company was sued over a software patent...turned out that entity didn't even hold the patent in question (the company had split and the other half retained the patent rights)

    Companies like this will stop at nothing to extort money from better companies.
  • -7 Hide
    f-14 , January 4, 2012 3:34 PM
    mauller07All of those patents sound like functionality The majority of hardware and O/S's have had since the 80's.It is just getting ridiculous how such flimsy patents can be handed out to companies, especially those that do not produce or even research being able to hold onto patents.Patents were meant to help protect companies research and development from being exploited by other companies, not to allow people to make money for no work they had done.

    what is the difference between OS and bus chip power management, if you can't answer that your not qualified to talk about this.
    the fact these patents are older then multi core processors speaks volumes esp since they were in 2000 and it is now 11 years after the fact.
    they are not suing intel or amd, so that must mean intel and amd did things the legally right way and licensed this tech.
    i'm getting disgusted with the way certain procommunist toms writers keep attacking capitalism and a practice that was first developed by the british empire during their prime of bringing order to, and civilizing the world.
    i am surprised these toms writers are not advocating the overthrow of all the governments involved with the non proliferation treaty of nuclear weapons and demanding the rest of the world like iran gets to have nuclear weapons and energy. toms writers are after all the rest of the world should get everything else scott free.
    disgusting and deplorable acts imo. i do understand the arguement for advancement, however there are time limits placed on all patents and i see nothing but a bunch of screaming petulant children screaming about how they are so spoiled they can not wait the necessary period of time each patent is given duration.
    we i their editor i would have given them several time outs and even grounded them from such infantile and deplorable behavior again.
    some people just can't grow up and live in a civilized world with civilized rules, i say we dump them in a anarchist or dictatorial regime and let them learn how nice they have things here in the civilized world!
  • 1 Hide
    mauller07 , January 4, 2012 4:03 PM
    f-14 i say we dump them in a anarchist or dictatorial regime and let them learn how nice they have things here in the civilized world!


    I find your childish rant funny, it amuses me so. Capitalism is a disgusting practice at heart made by the greedy to keep power with those who have money to fulfill their own self interests at the expense of others. There are also plenty of other forms of government that are not capitalism, communism or dictatorships, you should expand your own horizons a bit. my personal favorite is the Technocracy.

    The difference here is that a system that was made to protect peoples investment in research has been distorted by big money to gain more money from doing little work themselves, i.e the patent trolls.

    You talk about civilization but then their are many forms of civilization and not all conform to your own views, The worlds not perfect and you clearly cant accept that.
  • 4 Hide
    greenrider02 , January 4, 2012 4:20 PM
    f-14what is the difference between OS and bus chip power management, if you can't answer that your not qualified to talk about this.the fact these patents are older then multi core processors speaks volumes esp since they were in 2000 and it is now 11 years after the fact.they are not suing intel or amd, so that must mean intel and amd did things the legally right way and licensed this tech.i'm getting disgusted with the way certain procommunist toms writers keep attacking capitalism and a practice that was first developed by the british empire during their prime of bringing order to, and civilizing the world.i am surprised these toms writers are not advocating the overthrow of all the governments involved with the non proliferation treaty of nuclear weapons and demanding the rest of the world like iran gets to have nuclear weapons and energy. toms writers are after all the rest of the world should get everything else scott free.disgusting and deplorable acts imo. i do understand the arguement for advancement, however there are time limits placed on all patents and i see nothing but a bunch of screaming petulant children screaming about how they are so spoiled they can not wait the necessary period of time each patent is given duration.we i their editor i would have given them several time outs and even grounded them from such infantile and deplorable behavior again.some people just can't grow up and live in a civilized world with civilized rules, i say we dump them in a anarchist or dictatorial regime and let them learn how nice they have things here in the civilized world!


    You can't be a real person. After reading that... I just can't bring myself to believe there exists a person so brainwashed and self-centered that they would even anonymously type those words.

    And what's everyone's beef with communism? In theory, it's perfect, the fact that it doesn't work well in practice comes from flaws in the people within the system.
  • 2 Hide
    iceman1992 , January 4, 2012 4:24 PM
    hopefully this one will end up like righthaven
  • 0 Hide
    hoof_hearted , January 4, 2012 5:08 PM
    Whis I had a patent on the bit.

    6,969,696: the amount of information stored by a digital device or other physical system that exists in one of two possible distinct states
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 4, 2012 5:29 PM
    May I ask a simple question?

    Has any of you looked at the claims in those patents? I think we should take a look at the monopoly set forth by the claims before engaging into a rant about those patents solely based on their title.

    My 2 cents.
  • 1 Hide
    freggo , January 4, 2012 5:39 PM
    Maybe it is time to close the Patent Office. Everything useful that can be invented has been patented anyway...
  • 2 Hide
    svdb , January 4, 2012 7:06 PM
    f-14what is the ... i say we dump them in a anarchist or dictatorial regime and let them learn how nice they have things here in the civilized world!
    Yeah, with you as the dictator, right?
  • 0 Hide
    robluft , January 4, 2012 10:44 PM
    Wow this is completely inane. ARM has a patent for emulation of multiple buses using a single bus, intel has a patent that you need to set the timing parameters, and most of the patents listed have been in the public domain since the late 80's (known within computing circles since the late 70's). Not to mention every one of the patents are extensions of or are built upon other patents.

    So frustrating that this was given a patent since low power mode control for multiple buses has been employed since the 1980's where computer systems (which had multiple buses) automatically powered down when not in use for a period of time. Yes 'off' is considered a low power state ;-)

    It's crazy when you compare patents pre-1970's to what meets the patentability standards of today. Patents have always been about preventing others from infringing on IP rights but how this passed title 35 requirement review is pathetic.
  • 0 Hide
    cumi2k4 , January 5, 2012 1:05 AM
    and this promote the progress of science and art how???
  • 0 Hide
    zerghumper , January 5, 2012 3:03 AM
    This story clearly shows why the patent system does not work and
    never will. Good ideas are meant to be shared, expanded, improved. If
    you patent everything who's going to invest in new research? Chances
    are your investment will go towards fighting frivolous patent infringement cases
    like this one. Many times these patents aren't even developed, they're simply
    filed away and left to gather dust until someone else comes up with a similar
    idea, then you can sue them and use their money to expand your own
    business while destroying theirs, it's rather disgusting actually.

    Why do people find it so strange that the tech industry is migrating to other countries when our industry is so tied up in lawsuits? It's the natural course
    of things given the stranglehold patent holders have on our tech industry.
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