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Apple sued over location technology patents

Apple is facing a lawsuit over its use of  mobile location detection technology as Colorado based company, TracBeam, has filed for patent infringement. TracBeam previously filed suits against Google, T-Mobile and AT&T earlier this year over the same patents.

The company's complaint states that Apple is infringing on four of its patents:

  • US Patent No. 8,032,153, entitled “Multiple Location Estimatorsfor Wireless Location” (the ‘153 patent).
  • US Patent No. 7,764,231, entitled “Wireless Location Using MultipleMobile Station Location Techniques” (the ‘231 patent).
  • US Patent No. 7,525,484, entitled “Gateway and Hybrid Solutionsfor Wireless Location” (the ‘484 patent).
  • US Patent No. 7,298,327, entitled “Geographic Location UsingMultiple Location Estimators” (the ‘327 patent).


These patents cover the use of base stations to reflect signals in order to estimate where a mobile handset is located. Most of these patents were filed for back to the 1990's and were issued between 2007 and 2011.

As you would expect, TracBeam is looking for money to compensate for the use of its technology and also wants an injunction to prevent the sale of devices that infringe on its patents. Apple uses location based technology on both iOS and Mac OS in the following apps: “Maps, Siri, Safari, Find My iPhone, Camera, and the iAds network.” 

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KitGuru Says: TracBeam recently settled a similar case with Google, although the terms of the settlement have yet to be disclosed. It's likely that Apple will quietly settle this case in a similar fashion, rather than dragging it out in the court room for years.

Source: The Register

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