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Apple sued for stealing AirDrop Technology

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Apple has been sued by Uniloc on Wednesday for stealing its patent Airdrop File sharing technology after lobbying allegations for months against Apple.

The company has filed a case in U.S. District Court for Western District of Texas, Uniloc argues that it filed U.S. patent and trademark of this technology in 2000.

According to the details, the technology was invented by Jonathan Griffiths U.S. Patent no: 7,136,999 for a “Method and System for electronic device authentication.” The USPTO granted for the 999 patent in 2006.

The IP has changed hands quite a few times since its filing in 2000, initially from Griffiths to Philips Electronics in the same year. It was assigned to patent aggregator IPG Electronics 503 Limited in 2009, then it went to Pendragon Wireless in 2012 before coming into Uniloc’s hands in February 2018. Uniloc Luxembourg subsequently assigned the patent to Uniloc 2017 LLC in July 2018.

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Apple introduced AirDrop file sharing technology with OS X 10.7 Lion in 2011, AirDrop seemingly using the same technology ad hoc protocol designed to simplify the process of transferring large files from one device to another.

Details of Uniloc AirDrop patent suit can be accessed here

Uniloc is alleging infringement of claims 13 and 17 of ‘999 patent, which is related to establishing a secure link between two devices through the exchange of authentication information over two separate communications links. The suit explicitly named devices including all iPhone 5 to the latest and fifth generation iPads onwards.

Uniloc is seeking unspecified damages, reimbursements of legal fees that apply and other relief deemed fit by the court.

AirDrop is one of the latest lawsuits by Uniloc targeting Apple in the middle of 2017, the company has already sued Apple last April over Maps, Apple ID and remote software updates. The company has sued Apple multiple times over several other technologies.

Uniloc is one of the most active patent trolls in the U.S. trying to leverage reassigned patents or vaguely worded original IP against many tech firms including Activision McAfee, Microsoft, Rackspace, Blizzard, Aspyr, Electronic Arts, Symantec, Sega, Sony and more.