Developer Claims Apple Stole Passbook Idea, Files Patent Lawsuit

People are always trying to claim that Apple stole their idea. Sometimes, the evidence at hand makes it difficult not to believe the accuser. Recently, Apple has been targeted for supposedly stealing Passbook technology from a marketing software development company.

According to court documents filed by Ameranth, the company is claiming that Apple knowingly infringed on four patents relating to “Information Management and Synchronous Communications System with Menu Generation.” The software in question relates to Apple’s Passbook app.

Ameranth claims that the Passbook “pass styles” infringes “and continues to directly infringe on one or more valid and enforceable claims of the “850” patent.” The patents related to this lawsuit are U.S. Patent No. 6,384,850 (the “’850 patent”),U.S. Patent No. 6,871,325 (the “’325 patent”), U.S. Patent No. 6,982,733 (the “’733 patent”), and U.S. Patent No. 8,146,077 (the “’077 patent”), also known as “The Ameranth Patent Family”

According to the court document, Ameranth claims that Apple is “well aware” of this patent family and states that the company even cited the “850 patent” in an early patent request.

Passbook is a new app that allows users to digitally store tickets, boarding passes, loyalty cards, and more, all in one place. Users can scan their virtual cards or tickets using their iPhone and present them at various locations, like Ticketmaster, Fandango, and Target.

Ameranth claims that Passbooks’ user interface, that is, the ability to access “ticketing, reservations, and other hospitality functions via iPhone and iPod touch devices, storing hospitality information and data…, and synchronizing applications and data…” directly infringe on the patent family.

The software developer is requesting triple the amount of damages that it claims to have sustained as a result of the alleged infringement.

[via Cnet]

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik