Apple’s Lineup of Lawsuits Continues to Grow: New Plaintiff Seeks Compensation Over Website Design

Apple's Lineup of Lawsuits Continues to Grow: New Plaintiff Seeks Compensation Over Website Design
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Apple is at the center of yet another lawsuit — this time, it’s concerning the design of their website.

Samuel Lit, of Penn Valley, Pennsylvania, is suing the tech company over an alleged infringement on his 2008 patent for rotating carousels in website design, according to MacRumors.

The patent that Lit owns, U.S. Patent No. 8,793,330, is described as a “system and method for displaying graphics, art, text, animation and other content.”

carousel design
One embodiment of the system, the patent’s abstract explains, is a three-dimensional “carousel” that displays certain content in a rotating manner, at a predetermined rate of speed.

Apple’s website features a similar design. On its homepage, a carousel displays the company’s products in a rotating manner, according to Fortune.

In specific, Lit explains that Apple infringed upon claim 16 in his patent, which goes into detail about display engine communicating with Apple’s website and a server, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit also says Apple is infringing on the patent due to the tracking of customer views and purchases on its website — specifically the views and purchases of products displayed on the carousel.

In his lawsuit, Lit demands a trial by jury, and a reasonable royalty with pre- and post- judgment interest.

Lit is a radio broadcaster who apparently dabbles in computer design and technology. He attempted to monetize the carousel design in a now-defunct website, according to AppleInsider. His other computer tech endeavors include a search engine and a live streaming radio show, AppleInsider reports.

Apple is no stranger to people suing them. The tech giant has been the target of various lawsuits in the recent past — some of which are arguably pretty ridiculous.

In May of this year, Apple was sued by a company called Immersion for the haptic feedback on its phones — which is the vibration response when you tap on the phone’s screen. The company, who also included AT&T in a subsequent lawsuit, seeks “compensatory damages” from Apple, as well as the discontinuing of the products mentioned in the lawsuit.

Another company, called VoIP-Pal, demanded $2.8 billion in a lawsuit earlier this year. VoIP-Pal currently holds a dozen patents on various technologies, the majority of which are on “Voice-Over Internet Protocol technologies.”

VoIP-Pal alleged that Apple’s various communications platforms — including iMessage and FaceTime — infringed on their patents by initiating “communication between a caller and a callee.”

In 2015, two California residents sued Apple due to the Wi-Fi assist feature included in iOS9 — which kicks in when a signal from your router is low, and compensates by switching over to cellular data from your service provider. William Scott Phillips and Suzanne Schmidt Phillips, the plaintiffs, sued the tech company to the tune of $5 million, allegedly because of data overage costs caused by the Wi-Fi assist feature.

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