Adding to its ever-growing list of patent infringement lawsuits against the iPhone-maker, mother of all patent trolls, Uniloc, filed yet another two suits against Apple on Wednesday specifically targeting AirPlay and continuity features, respectively. Both cases were filed with the all too familiar Eastern Texas District Court, which has long been notorious for its tendency to side with patent holders.
In the first case, Uniloc alleges infringement on of U.S. patent No. 6,622,018, which covers “Portable device control console with wireless connection.” Uniloc’s patent, which was filed for in 2000 and granted in 2003, details various methods of “controlling remote devices over wireless protocols” such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Unsurprisingly, Uniloc is claiming that AirPlay, the Apple TV Remote, and Apple’s HomeKit all infringe on this patent.
Each of these aforementioned protocols allow users to engage with their Apple devices wirelessly. For example, the Apple TV’s Siri remote allows users to control their Apple TV-connected television and communicate with Siri from across the room over Bluetooth; while AirPlay, in a similar fashion, enables users to stream digital content from one iOS, macOS, or Apple TV device to another.
The other suit, meanwhile, involves two patents — No. 6,161,134, covering a “Method, apparatus and communications system for companion information and network appliances,” and No. 6,446,127, which covers a “System and method for providing user mobility services on a telephony network.” Both are in their own way related to iOS and macOS’ Continuity features.
Granted back in 2000 and 2002, the 6,161 and 6,446 patents respectively detail methods of “transmitting data from a computer to a telephone,” and “exchanging voice and data messages from a telephone to other devices” over a particular wireless network. Specifically, Uniloc is targeting the Continuity feature that allows users to place and receive phone calls on their Mac or iPad when they’re connected to an iPhone.
These two new cases are merely the latest in a string of recent lawsuits filed by Uniloc against Cupertino. Recently, the patent-only Uniloc filed suits against Apple over iMessage, FaceTime, and even iPhone 6s battery charging. Unsurprisingly, as a non-practicing entity, Uniloc has one of the fiercest records when it comes to going after big companies, and has previously filed suits against Microsoft and Sony, game-makers Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts and Sega, and even software firms McAfee and Symantec.
The latest round of cases, much akin to those lodged before them, seeks reimbursement of legal fees and additional relief “as deemed fit by the court.”