Mirror Worlds v. Apple. Case Overview. In 2008, the technology company Mirror Worlds, LLC filed suit against Apple, Inc . for patent infringement in the US District Court in Tyler, Texas. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Mirror Worlds v. Apple
In 2008, the technology company Mirror Worlds, LLC filed suit against Apple, Inc. for patent infringement in the US District Court in Tyler, Texas.
Mirror Worlds claimed that three of Appleâs Mac computer programs (Cover Flow, Time Machine, and Spotlight) infringed patents that Mirror Worlds had registered for a way to display documents on a computer screen.
Apple challenged the validity of these patents and claimed that they had not been infringed.
Mirror Worldâs Arguments:
That Appleâs programs Spotlight, Time Machine, and Cover Flow infringed patents that Mirror Worldâs had filed for its software, Scopeware which organizes a user's files into time-based "streams" and make such data more easily accessible across networks
âThat Apple both directly and indirectly infringed its patents and that the infringement was willfulâ
That Appleâs programs did not infringe the patents in question (âthe â227 patentâ, âthe â313 patentâ, and âthe â427 patentâ) because the patents are invalid and that in using Appleâs programs (Spotlight, Time Machine, and Cover Flow), users do not necessarily follow the steps outlined in the patented processes
Did Appleâs three programs actually infringe three registered US patents - (âthe â227 patentâ), (âthe â313 patentâ), and (âthe â427 patentâ)?
Did Apple âautomaticallyâ infringe the patents since the accused Spotlight feature is âbuilt into the coreâ of Appleâs operating systems that âare always on and necessarily practiced by Appleâs computers.â
Mirror Worldâs patents protected the following functions:
1) the documents are stored in one or more chronologically ordered streams;
2) the location and nature of file storage is transparent to the user;
3) information is organized as needed instead of at the time the document is created;
4) sophisticated logic is provided for summarizing a large group of related documents at the time a user wants a concise overview; and
5) archiving is automatic.
Functions Protected by Patents
As illustrated here, the three patents registered by Mirror Worlds describe displaying a stream of data, documents, or pictures as stacked images so the images appear to be receding
Image from U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Tyler Division Case Materials, Case No. 6:08 CV 88
Programs in Question
The three Apple Mac OSX and iOS programs in question are the following:
Spotlight: function that searches the computerâs hard drive
Cover Flow: function that lets users scroll through album cover art when browsing for documents, pictures, and music in their iTunes libraries.
Time Machine: function that automatically backs up system files, applications, accounts, preferences, music, photos, movies, and documents on a Mac computer
2010 US District Court Decision in Texas: the jury ruled that Apple had infringed all three patents and awarded Mirror Worlds, LLC $625.5 Million in damages ($208.5 million per infringement)
2010 Appeal: Apple appeals decision and judge stays the ruling
2011 Final Court Decision: U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis of Tyler ruled that Apple did not infringe on the patents (based on insufficient evidentiary support), and overturned the jury verdict but did uphold the validity of Mirror Worldâs three patents
The court proceedings can be found here:
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