Apple iCloud hit by patent infringement claims


Apple's online storage service iCloud has been accused of infringing two patents owned by a San Jose-based software company, according to a recently filed US district court complaint.

The company, Innovative Automation, claims Apple has infringed on its intellectual property with iCloud by "making, using, offering to sell, and/or importing into the United States".

This activity, it is claimed, infringes on two patents 7,174,362 and 7,392,283 which are related to the "method and system for supplying products from pre-stored digital data in response to demands transmitted via Computer Network(s)."

The document states: "As a result of Defendant's infringing activities with respect to [both] patent[s], Plaintiff has suffered damages in an amount not yet ascertained.

"Plaintiff is entitled to recover damage adequate to compensate it for Defendant's infringing activities in an amount to be determined at trial, but in no event less than reasonable royalties, together with interests and costs."

Innovative Automation said it reserves the right, if it is decided that Apple's infringement of the patents was "wilful and deliberate", to pursue further damages.

The firm also filed similar lawsuits on 16 November, aimed at the cloud-based music services offered by Spotify and online retailer Amazon, accusing them of infringing on the same two patents.

All three suits have been filed at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

IT Pro was awaiting a response Spotify to this story at the time of publication, but Apple and Amazon declined to comment.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.