Patent suit targets Apple, Microsoft over data encryptionBoth Apple and its rival Microsoft have been hit with a new lawsuit accusing them and others of violating patents related to digital file encryption and security.
The complaint was filed this week by Tallgrass Prairie Management in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, where lawsuits are frequently filed in hopes of a favorable outcome for the plaintiff. In addition to Apple and Microsoft, the suit targets WinMagic and CheckPoint Software Technologies.
The four defendants are accused of violating three patents related to secure data encryption, allowing users to ensure that others cannot access sensitive files. The patents in the suit are all named "Method for Preventing Inadvertent Betrayal by a Trustee of Escrowed Digital Secrets." They are:
- U.S. Patent No. 5,436,972, first filed in 1993
- U.S. Patent No. 6,141,423, filed in 1995
- U.S. Patent No. 6,216,229, filed in 2000
Apple is accused of selling "software that includes digital data structures for storing identifying information and encrypted digital secrets." The complaint asserts that Apple's software violates Tallgrass Prairie Management's patents by allowing "trustees to access the encrypted digital secrets upon verification of the identifying information."
The plaintiff has asked the court to grant permanent injunctions against the defendants, preventing them from selling what Tallgrass Prairie believes are infringing products. The company also hopes to receive damages from those it is suing via a jury trial.
Tallgrass Prairie Management is represented by attorney William E. Davis III of The Davis Firm based out of Longview, Texas.
On Topic: patents
- Apple patent filing shows future potential of Touch ID not tied to a button
- Apple wins patent on tech hinting at Apple Pencil use for Mac
- Apple invention could lead to glasses-free 3D on mobile devices
- New Apple invention would allow for complex, multi-axis haptic feedback
- Apple shows interest in expanding True Tone color accuracy beyond the 9.7" iPad Pro