Taiwanese uni sues Apple over FaceTime and QuickTime

Rogue province pulls the patent infringement trigger again


A major Taiwanese university has sued Apple for a second time in a year, this time for infringing one of its patents related to video compression technology in FaceTime, QuickTime and other fruity software.

The US Patent 7,561,078 refers to “an encoding system for a data set, particularly for a video data set”, as follows:

The encoding system includes a coding strategies represented as a tree-based structure, a cost projection system for each tree node, and a parameter searching algorithm for coding strategies to encode a data set. When the encoder parameters are obtained, the coding strategies and rate-allocation have better performance comparing to the related art.

According to the lawsuit the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) is claiming that “all Apple products using block-orientated motion compensation video compression” infringe the patent, which means pretty much anything running FaceTime, QuickTime and other unspecified software.

The uni claims to have suffered undetermined amount of monetary damages due to Apple’s “willful” patent infringement and is seeking a permanent injunction against the company, as well as damages, costs and expenses.

The case is being filed in a Texas district court, the same patent-litigation-friendly court where NCKU filed against Apple last July claiming Cupertino’s Siri voice assistant technology infringed two of its patents.

Apparently the court was chosen because cases are quickly processed, its rulings are usually in favour of patent holders and the compensation awards are higher than those set by many other courts. ®

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