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Apple's use of web carousels target of new patent lawsuit

A Pennsylvania man is suing Apple for using carousels on its website, claiming the common web user interface is in infringement of patented technology dating back to 2008.




Lodged in Northern Illinois District Court on Thursday, Samuel Lit's lawsuit asserts Apple's website homepage, which contains a number of display windows that cycle through various new and upcoming products, is in infringement of a patent covering web carousel technology.

As of this writing, Apple.com features a large dynamic carousel element with a four-pane UI cycling through major product advertisements for iPhone 6s, iPad Pro, Apple Watch and MacBook. Assets are rotated on a timer, hence the term "carousel," though visitors are able to cycle through at their leisure by clicking on interactive onscreen arrows or a row of dots.

Lit is leveraging U.S. Patent No. 8,793,330 for an "Information display system and method," which includes claims that describe elements of a display engine configured to deliver carousel content from a server to a webpage. Further claims cover statistical and financial functions in relation to database analytics.

A resident Penn Valley, Penn., filing the suit under Illinois' long-arm statute, Lit is an experienced radio broadcaster who dabbles in computer technology, according to Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. He previously served as President of Hy Lit Radio Technologies, official applicant of the '330 patent.

It appears that Lit attempted to monetize his carousel patent through a website called YourDisplayCarousel.com, which ceased operation in December. He also marketed search engine technology through HyLitGlobalSearch.com, as well as network audio solutions and a live streaming radio show via HyLitRadio.com and HyLitRhythm.com. The various projects were named after Lit's father Hy, a famous local radio broadcaster.

Lit seeks royalties with interest in his case against Apple.

Samuel Lit Lawsuit