Apple sued over fast booting patent originally owned by LG

Mon, Aug 8, 2011

Legal, News

Apple’s legal team are undoubtedly a gainfully employed and busy group of folks. Indeed, it seems that not a week goes by that Apple isn’t either on the receiving or offensive end of a new lawsuit.

Most recently, a Florida-based company that goes by Operating Systems Solutions, LLC sued Apple claiming that OS X violates their patent relating to fast booting in OS X.

The patent in question is U.S. Patent No. RE40,092 and comprises a “method for quickly booting a computer system.”  Notably, the patent was originally owned by LG before switching hands three times where it ultimately came into the hands of the heretofore unknown Operating System Solutions. Highlighting the murky history behind the patent, the companies the patent passed through include Microconnect LLC and Protimus Technologies LLC – just try finding any public information about either of those two companies.

The claim OSS accuses Apple of infringing states:

“A method for fast booting a computer system, comprising the steps of: A. performing a power on self test (POST) of basic input output system (BIOS) when the system is powered on or reset is requested; B. checking whether a boot configuration information including a system booting state which was created while executing a previous normal booting process exists or not; C. storing the boot configuration information from execution of the POST operation before loading a graphic interface (GUI) program, based on the checking result; and D. loading the graphic user interface (GUI) program.”

Specifically, OSS claims that all Apple products that utilize OS X infringe on claim one of the aforementioned patent.

Since news of the lawsuit first broke, a number of people have wondered if LG is somehow involved and is using OSS as a proxy to stave a potential Apple lawsuit against LG. While LG related lawsuits don’t attract the same level of attention as ones involving companies like Google and Samsung, FOSS Patents writes that LG is already immersed in number of Android related actions.

LG’s Android-based products have already drawn lawsuits from various patent holders such as Alcatel-Lucent, Vertical Computer Systems, Hopewell Culture & Design, and MyPort IP. Those are lawsuits in which some of LG’s Android-based products are explicitly named. In addition, Sony filed an ITC complaint in December 2010 against a host of LG phones. While none of the ones explicitly named in that complaint was Android-based, there’s the usual “including but not limited to” language, and it’s reasonably likely that at least some of the patents asserted by Sony also read on LG’s Android-based devices. Therefore, if Sony obtained an ITC import ban, it would presumably also affect those Android-based products. In retaliation for that ITC complaint, LG filed several actions against Sony, not only in the U.S. but also in the Netherlands, where 300,000 PlayStations were temporarily seized.

It remains to be seen if LG has any type of direct involvement, but is interesting to note that LG, much like Samsung, is a huge product supplier to Apple in the form of displays.


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