Apple continues to be a magnet for patent trolls. The company has drawn the attention of Texas-based Hilltop Technology LLC, which has filed a lawsuit, accusing the iPhone and iPad manufacturer of patent infringement relating to its touch screens.
Using Patent 7,864, 503 as its basis, Hilltop Technology points to iPhones and iPads but essentially points to everything that makes use of a capacitive type touch panel. The patent is originally attributed to Yu-Huei Chang of Taiwan and assigned to Sense Pad Tech.
"A capacitive type touch panel having a transparent substrate having opposite top and bottom surfaces; an array of first and second conductors formed on said top surface of said transparent substrate; an array of second conductors; and a plurality of spaced apart conductive first and second bridging lines," the abstract of the patent reads. The said patent was filed on April 23, 2008 and issued Jan. 4, 2011.
Hilltop has filed the case at the Eastern District Court of Texas and demands the court to ask Apple to stop violating its patent and to pay for damages. The timing is not clear, however, as most smartphones and tablets from leading manufacturers today are equipped with capacitive touchscreens.
"Apple's products that infringe the '503 Patent include, but are not limited to, all Apple products having a capacitive type touch panel, including its iPad Air having capacitive-type Touch-On-Lens (TOL)touch panels. Apple is thus liable for infringement of the '503 Patent...," the complaint reads.
"A permanent injunction enjoining Apple and its officers, directors, agents,servants, affiliates, employees, divisions, branches, subsidiaries, parents, and all others acting inactive concert therewith from infringing the 503 Patent. A judgment and order requiring Apple to pay Hilltop Technology LLC its damages, costs, expenses, and prejudgment and post-judgment interest for Apple's infringement of the '503 Patent...," th court filing reads.
Apple has not issued any statement about the latest lawsuit.
Hilltop Technology has been on a patent infringement filing spree since September. It filed similar cases in the past against Touch Revolution, AU Optronics, and Wintek. According to reports, the company was established September 2013. AU Optronics has denied that it violated any patent of Hilltop.
While Apple has not been the only company targeted by Hilltop, the latest sales numbers reported by the iDevice manufacturer could have been a good motivation.
As of reporting, no judge has been assigned to the case.