Did Apple ‘Shamelessly’ Steal This Inventor’s Idea?

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Besides disputing whether Ditzik’s invention was really an iPhone, Scarsi also argued that several key features covered in Ditzik’s patent already existed in products that were in the marketplace at the time, Patently Apple reports. For this reason, Apple’s lawyer noted that the patent should not have been granted in the first place.

However, Niro pointed out that 11 patent office examiners reviewed and approved Ditzik’s patent. Niro also noted that the patent was even reissued to Ditzik after Apple requested a patent reexamination. The current trial only concerns damages related to the sale of Apple’s iPhone 4 over the past 13 months. Ditzik, though, has also filed a separate complaint over Apple’s iPad, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5.

Although NetAirus is seeking a relatively small royalty payment of $500,000 from the iPhone maker, this case could have much wider financial implications if Apple loses. As noted by Patently Apple, a victory for NetAirus would likely result in other smartphone makers like Samsung (SSNLF.PK) and HTC paying NetAirus patent-licensing fees.

According to Patently Apple’s report, the case is currently in the hands of a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Follow Nathanael on Twitter @ArnoldEtan_WSCS

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