Apple Lawsuits vs. XR Communications
(Photo : Getty Image: Tom Brenner)

Apple is facing yet another lawsuit as XR Communications claimed that the tech giant's products violate MIMO wireless technology patent.

On Wednesday, June 16, non-practicing company XR Communications filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. The lawsuit claimed that the tech giant violated a single patent that was granted in 2020 the moment they deployed MIMO technology.

Apple vs. XR Communications

The complaint entailed the intellectual property developed by defunct Wi-Fi establishment specialist, Vivato Technologies, to go against various Apple products integrating "multiple-output, multiple-input," or commonly called MIMO technology. 

It is lodged with the U.S. District Court designated for the Western District of Texas.

XR Communications claimed an infringement on the U.S. Patent Number 10,715,235 that entails "Directed Wireless Communication." It explicitly covers wireless communications utilizing MIMO capabilities. 

Technically, it includes every Apple product that can transmit various flavors of MIMO-compatible Wi-Fi, which provides for a variety of multipath propagation methods, such as MU-MIMO and DL-MU-MIMO.

Read Also: Apple CEO Tim Cook Discusses 'Sideloading' of Apps and Other Developments to Come During VivaTech Conference

Apple Products in Question

According to Apple Insider, the lawsuit included a list of specific Apple products in question. 

It included all iPhone models starting from iPhone 6s, iPad mini 2, first-generation iPad Air, Apple TV 4K, and Mac models released from 2016.

For example, iPhone XS Max runs on a general mechanism of MIMO systems. Therefore, it can process and receive multiple signals simultaneously. 

All the more, the smartphone also uses beamforming techniques that aim to optimize its reception.

XR Communications' Claims

XR Communications' lawsuit against Apple Inc. covers specific technology. However, the processes described in the file are widely used not only by Apple. Other manufacturers that offer Wi-Fi-ready devices also use the same technology that is stated in the file.

It is essential to know that MIMO, together with its successor, is the basis of all cellular standards, including 4G LTE.

History of Vivato and XR Communications

According to Vivato's brief summary, Apple Insider reported that the company started its journey in 2000, with $80 million for its venture-backed capital.

The company focused on producing "Carrier-Class" Wi-Fi with a plan to deliver data across significant distances by utilizing various wireless base stations that could integrate beamforming phased array antenna layout.

The reason behind Vivato's halt in operation is still unclear, but XR Communications started to assert Vivato patents in 2017. 

Some of the patents involved cover MIMO, Belkin, Cisco, Netgear, Ubiquiti Networks, phased array antenna, and other inventions against ASUS and others.

The Bottom Line

The lawsuit against Apple is still in the works, and the public will have to wait for the result.

Apple is a giant tech company, and it is no secret that they also own multiple patents related to MIMO communications, and OFDM or Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing methods.

On the other hand, XR Communications seems to file on behalf of Vivato. The company seeks damages, both previous and current royalty, court fees, and even injunctive relief in the case.

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Written by Fran Sanders

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