Company says mobile devices, including Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad; and RIM’s Blackberry Curve and Blackberry PlayBook, have repeatedly infringed upon Openwave’s patents
Openwave Systems has filed complaints against Apple and Research In Motion Limited at the International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington, DC, requesting that the ITC bar the import of smartphones and tablet computers that infringe Openwave patents, including, but not limited to, Apple’s iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch, iPad and iPad 2; and RIM’s Blackberry Curve 9330 and Blackberry PlayBook. Openwave also filed a similar complaint in federal district court in Delaware.
“Openwave invented technologies that became foundational to the mobile Internet. We believe that these large companies should pay us for the use of our technologies, particularly in light of the substantial revenue these companies have earned from devices that use our intellectual property,” said Ken Denman, Chief Executive Officer of Openwave. “Before filing these complaints, we approached both of these companies numerous times in an attempt to negotiate a license of our technology with them and did not receive a substantive response.”
Openwave said in a statement that it was the first company in 1997 to enable operators to deploy mobile Internet browsing, and the first in 2001 with technology that enables photo messaging. The company said that it owns approximately 200 patents that support its software business with telecommunications operators worldwide.
“In the end, litigation is the only way we can defend our rights against these large companies that have effectively refused to license the use of the technologies we invented, are using today, and are continuing to develop for our customers,” Mr. Denman said. “We are proud that our technology is helping deliver such a rich mobile internet experience to consumers around the world.”
The Openwave complaints specifically allege that Apple and RIM infringe upon five Openwave patents. These patents cover technology that gives consumers access to the Internet from their mobile devices:
· Openwave’s 212 patent generally allows a user to use e-mail applications on a mobile device when the network is unavailable – such as when a user is on an airplane. For more information, please refer to the complaint, page 8.
* Openwave’s 409 patent generally allows the mobile device to operate seamlessly, and securely, with a server over a wireless network. For more information, please refer to the complaint, page 10.
· Openwave’s 037 patent generally allows access to updated versions of applications on mobile devices. For more information, please refer to the complaint, page 9.
· Openwave’s 447 patent generally allows consumers to experience an improved user experience in navigating through various pages of information without delay. For more information, please refer to the complaint, page 12.
· Openwave’s 608 patent generally relates to cloud computing. For example, the 608 patent enables data to be accessed or shared by different devices such as mobile handsets or computers. For more information, please refer to the complaint, page 6.
“As it became clear that these large companies would not substantively cooperate with us, the Company carefully evaluated its legal position and litigation prospects. We believe that our legal position is strong and our prospects of prevailing are very good,” said Mr. Denman. “In our analysis, this is our best option to unlock the substantial value of our intellectual property. The ITC process typically results in judgments within 15-18 months. We anticipate that a favorable judgment will lead the companies to negotiate licensing agreements with us.”