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Software solutions developer Ameranth has accused Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) of infringing four of its patents with its new Passbook ticketing app. Ameranth said in its complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California that the patents were part of its Information Management and Synchronous Communications portfolio, which it has reportedly licensed to at least 14 firms.
Ameranth, which manufactures hospitality, entertainment, restaurant, and food service IT solutions, reportedly developed the four-patent portfolio for use by restaurant workers as point of sale, menu generation, and gift card processing systems, Apple Insider said. The firm added in its filing that Apple was aware of the portfolio as three of the patents have been listed in several lawsuits against the iPhone maker’s business partners, including OpenTable (NASDAQ:OPEN), Ticketmaster (NYSE:LYV), and Fandango. Ameranth has also sued hotel groups Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International (NYSE:MAR), and Hyatt Hotels (NYSE:H) for alleged infringement of the wireless synchronization patents.
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“One of the Ameranth patents-in-suit, U.S. Patent No. 6,384,850 — the first patent issued in this Ameranth patent family — was cited as a prior art reference in two Apple iPhone patents issued to named inventors Bas Ording and Steven P. Jobs,” the company stated in its court filing. Due to Apple’s “willful infringement,” Ameranth said it would seek triple damages and any “further relief that [the] Court may deem just and proper.”
The Passbook app, introduced by Apple along with its new iOS 6 operating system, stores data from airline boarding passes, hotel reservations, movie tickets, and other digital passes on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
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