Texas company sues Apple for allegedly infringing on touchscreen patent

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Feb 5, 2014

MARSHALL (Legal Newsline) — A Texas-based company is suing Apple Inc. in federal court, accusing the maker of the popular iPhone and iPad of patent infringement.

Hilltop Technology LLC filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, on Jan. 29.

The federal court has become a popular venue for patent infringement cases because of its set of local rules for such cases and rather fast trial settings.

According to the five-page complaint, Hilltop accuses Apple of infringing on its patent by the making, use and/or selling of products having touchscreen devices and modules.

Hilltop states in its complaint that it is the owner of U.S. Patent No. 7,864,503, or the ‘503 Patent, entitled “Capacitive Type Touch Panel.”

The ‘503 Patent was issued on Jan. 4, 2011 after examination by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The application leading to the ‘503 Patent was filed on April 23,
2008, the complaint states.

“On information and belief, examples of 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,” Hilltop wrote.

Hilltop argues it has suffered monetary damages in an amount not yet determined, and “will continue to suffer damages in the future” unless Apple’s infringing activities are enjoined by the federal court.

“Unless a permanent injunction is issued enjoining Apple and its agent, servants, employees, representatives, affiliates, and all others acting on or in active concert therewith from infringing the ‘503 Patent, Hilltop Technology LLC will be greatly and irreparably harmed,” the company wrote.

According to a search of federal court filings, Hilltop filed similar lawsuits against AU Optronics Corporation in September and Wintek Corporation and TPK Holding Co. Ltd. in November.

The lawsuits also were filed in the Eastern District of Texas.

Attorney Winston O. Huff of Dallas-based W. O. Huff & Associates PLLC is representing Hilltop.

Neither Huff nor Apple could immediately be reached for comment.

The case has been assigned to District Judge Rodney Gilstrap and referred to Magistrate Judge Roy Payne for pretrial proceedings.

 Case No. 2:14-cv-00050-JRG-RSP


From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at patents@legalnewsline.com.


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