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NewsPoster Nov 12, 2013 01:41 PM
Jury selection begins in NetAirus v. Apple suit over smartphone tech
Jury selection is slated to begin today in the long-running NetAirus v. Apple lawsuit, <em>Bloomberg</em> reports. The case, first filed over three years ago, complains that the iPhone violates a 1997 patent held by NetAirus owner Richard Ditzik, documenting a handheld device merging a computer with wireless communications over local- and wide-area networks. Apple has maintained that the Newton MessagePad achieved similar technology as early as 1994, rendering NetAirus' patent obsolete.<br />
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"The technology at issue was so well known at the time NetAirus filed its patent, that independent patent watchdogs have made NetAirus's patent a poster child in the movement to limit the proliferation of facially invalid patents," Apple wrote in a July 2011 petition to dismiss the case. In 2012 US District Judge John Kronstadt allowed the suit to go forward, on the basis of NetAirus' claim that the iPhone violates a patent for a phone configured as a PDA that switches between Wi-Fi and cellular. The company was, however, denied a motion to add the iPad and more recent iPhones to the scope of the complaint.<br />
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As the case <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/298211==http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-12/apple-heads-to-trial-with-inventor-over-smartphone-patent.html" rel='nofollow'>moves</a> towards trial, NetAirus will be limited in the damages it can potentially claim. A May 2013 ruling in Apple's favor prevented any damage payments from being collected for infringements before October 8th, 2012; that's when the US Patent and Trademark Office issued a re-examination that Kronstadt agreed would "substantially" change the claims of the NetAirus patent. The company can currently only pursue damages from iPhone 4 sales after the October 2012 marker. Via a separate complaint submitted in May however, the company is pursuing damages from the iPad, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5.<br />
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NetAirus suffered another setback on November 8th, when Kronstadt excluded testimony from Joseph Gemini, the company's damages expert. The judge decided that Gemini's view that royalties should be set at $3 per unit for one patent claim and $3.50 per unit for five others was missing quantitative analysis and wasn't reliable. Also blocked was testimony from Ditzik, arguing that a royalty rate of 3 to 5 percent of US sales would be reasonable. "An opinion setting forth a 3-5 percent royalty rule of thumb based on 'patent articles on the web' is improper expert opinion offered by a lay person," Kronstadt commented.
 
ibugv4 Nov 12, 2013 02:39 PM
I know that I was sending email via complex modem and cell phone rig on a Newton in 1997 ....
 
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