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Thursday, December 30, 2010, 08:10 am PT (11:10 am ET)

'Double-click' patent lawsuit attacks Apple's iPhone, iPad

A new patent lawsuit takes aim at a number of major technology companies, including Apple, HTC and Nokia, over a patent related to selecting interactive content with a double-click or double-tap.

Hopewell Culture and Design this month sued the companies claiming violation of U.S. Patent No. 7,171,625, entitled "Double-Clicking a Point-and-Click User Interface Apparatus to Enable a New Interaction with Content represented by an Active Visual Display Element." The patent was first filed for ownership in 2002 by assignee Actify, Inc., based in San Francisco, Calif.

The patents notes that double-clicking has been a feature of computers for some time, but it "has not been used to effect user input to a Web browser that uniquely corresponds to the double-click input."

With regard to Apple, Hopewell believes the company's mobile devices are in violation of the '625 patent. Specifically named in the suit are the iPhone and iPad, which it says have software that allows a user to "double click or double tap a visual element representing interactive content and interact with a second version of the interactive content."

Aside from naming the iPhone and iPad, the lawsuit makes no mention of what about iOS in particular it believes is in violation of its patent.

Lawsuit


Also named in the suit is Adobe, as Hopewell hopes to prove to a court that its Adobe Reader software is in violation of the '625 patent. From HTC, the Droid Eris, Droid Incredible, Hero and EVO smartphones are specifically listed.

Also a target of the lawsuit is Finnish handset maker Nokia, as Hopewell believes its mobile devices, including the N900 and N97 are in violation of the cited patent. The remaining defendants in the suit are LG Electronics, Motorola, browser maker Opera, Palm, Quickoffice, and Samsung.

Hopewell aims to receive "adequate" damages from the numerous technology companies it is targeting. The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, a region known for favorable outcomes in patent lawsuits.