A litany of lawsuits

(For a longer list, see the wiki page List of lawsuits)

This page presents two lists: headline-making settlements over software patents, and lawsuits initiated over software patents. There are two points to note regarding these lists:

  • No patent lawsuit requires proving that the defendant copied the work of the plaintiff, and in almost all of the cases here, there is no evidence that direct copying of any kind occurred.
  • There is no comprehensive list of suits or settlements. For every suit here, there are countless others.
Patent-holder Defendant Claimed technology
Sun Trilogy “data-processing patents”
Autobytel Insweb Real-time communication of purchase requests
Klausner Comcast, Cablevision Systems and eBay’s Skype selective retrieval of voicemail
Hyperphrase Google parsing
Global Patent Holdings Boca Resort, Green Bay Packers, Ed Napleton Acura, Orbitz, Peapod, OfficeMax, Caterpillar, Kraft Foods, CDW Corp., Motorola, ADT Security Services, AutoNation, Florida Crystals Corp., HearUSA, MovieTickets.com, Ocwen Financial Corp., and Tire Kingdom Images on web sites
Eon-Net Burlington Coat Factory, J Crew, Walgreen, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Delta Air, Staples, Barnes and Noble, Hammacher Schlemmer, D’Agostino Supermarkets, Foot Locker, Liz Claiborne, and Linens ‘n’ Things collecting information via Internet
Plutus Continental, Toyota, DaimlerChrysler and Mercedes language processing
Card Activation McDonald’s, Sears, Walgreen, Barnes & Noble, Aeropostale and OfficeMax Gift cards
Antor media Dole Food Company, Touch Tunes Music, Inc. Wal-Mart Stores, Circuit City Stores, Alltel Corporation, Gannett Co, McGraw-Hill Companies, Ford Motor, E I du Pont de Nemours and Company, Cisco Systems Inc, and Xerox transmitting data
Antor media Metacafe, Digital Playground, Google, GoTuit Media, Grouper Networks, MacMillan Publishers, MLB Advanced Media, LP, New Frontier Media, PureVideo Networks, SBO Pictures, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Sony Corporation of America, Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sun Microsystems, Vivid Entertainment, YouTube, Discovery Communications transmitting data
Implicit Networks AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, Raza, RealNetworks, and Sun sorting data packets
Beneficial Innovations Blockdot, CareerBuilder, Cnet Networks, Digg, Ebaum’s World, Jabez Networks, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Weather Channel, The Washington Post, Newsweek Interactive, AOL, The Dallas Morning News, Google, IGN Entertainment, Morris Communications, Tribune Interactive, Yahoo!, and YouTube online games

Here is a sampling of older suits that have already settled. Since Microsoft is perceived as the deepest pockets in the traditional software industry, it is frequently the target for software infringement suits—its 10Q lists the company as currently defending against 45 infringment suits.

Patent-holder Defendant Claimed technology Settlement
NTP RIM the Blackberry email system $612.5 million
Acacia Various (as of Feb. ’08) Various $106.6 million
Creative Apple iPod user interface $100 million
Sprint-Nextel Vonage VoIP $80 million
Verizon Vonage VoIP “at least” $80 million, up to $117m
Intertrust Microsoft software security $440 million
SPX Microsoft virtual whiteboard $60 million
Burst Microsoft data transmission $60 million
z4 Microsoft, Autodesk software registration $133 million
Akamai Limelight web server organization $45.5 million
Alcatel-Lucent Microsoft user interface $367 million
Total $2.082 billion
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