Apple just can't seem to get out of the spotlight. But this time, instead of speculation around new handsets or features, a bit of legal trouble is trying to land the ?i?-tastic company in hot water.
Monec Holding, a Swiss-based communications company, is suing Apple, alleging that the iPhone's ebook reader functionality infringes on its patent.
Here's the legalese: According to CNET, the firm filed a lawsuit in Virginia asserting "patent infringement, unfair trade practices, monopolization, and tortious interference for allegedly treading on its January 2002 patent No. 6,335,678 titled 'Electronic device, preferably an electronic book.'"
Apple Insider described the situation this way: Monec believes that the App Store's approval of digital book readers is equivalent to the tech company endorsing its phone as a ?capable eBook reader." But, says the litigant, this violates Monec's patent, which refers to a lightweight electronic device with a touchscreen LCD display and dimensions such that ?approximately one page of a book can be illustrated at normal size, this display being integrated in a flat, frame-like housing."
Um, okay? Guess they never heard of Sony or Kindle. Or maybe it has.
CNET speculates that the lawsuit may have been sparked by the App Store's approval of Amazon's Kindle for iPhone eBook reader. Similar eReaders have been there for a long time, but this lawsuit was only filed now, within the same month that the Kindle app debuted.
Frankly, it's not very likely this case will actually get anywhere, but it's still interesting. Bogus lawsuits aside, I can't help but be fascinated by the fact that Apple ? with its own litigious tendencies and fiercely territorial disposition over its hardware and software ? is now being called out for infringing on someone else's rights.