Recently, Apple has encountered patent infringement lawsuits from a number of non-practicing entities. For example, last week, the Cupertino technology giant was sued by Smart Mobile, LLC, claiming that it infringed 13 wireless communications patents. The latest news is that a company named XR Communications filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in the Western District of Texas in the United States on Wednesday.
It is reported that XR Communications holds intellectual property rights developed by Vivato Technologies, a discontinued Wi-Fi infrastructure expert, and has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against a series of Apple products that integrate multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology.
The infringing equipment claimed by the plaintiff can even be traced back to the iPhone 6S smartphone, the original iPad Air/iPad mini 2 tablets, Mac computer, and the 2016 Apple TV 4K set-top box.
The focus of the controversy is a “directional wireless communication” (US Patent No. 10,715,235) intellectual property held by XR Communications, which describes the communication function with MIMO beamforming.
For the Apple products involved in the case, it can use “Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output” (MU-MIMO) and “Downlink Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output” (DL-MU- MIMO), including different forms of MIMO schemes.
In the complaint, the plaintiff used the iPhone XS Max model as an example to describe the general mechanism of the MIMO system of the device, claiming that it can receive and process multiple signals at the same time, and the hardware uses beamforming technology to optimize the reception effect.
However, there is still a big controversy regarding the relevant claims of the plaintiff. After all, there are many equipment manufacturers on the market that are widely adopting similar functions and holding related patents, not to mention that MIMO and its subsequent protocols are also the cornerstones of cellular communication standards including 4G LTE.
[Background information] Apple Insider learned from a fairly old page that Vivato was founded in 2000 and received $80 million in venture capital funding.
It focuses on “operator-level” Wi-Fi services and aims to help transmit data over long distances by integrating wireless base stations designed with beamforming phased array antennas.
It is not clear when Vivato will end operations, but since 2017, XR Communications has successively initiated lawsuits against companies such as Asus, Belkin, Cisco, Netgear, and Ubiquiti Networks, and asserted patents related to MIMO and phased array antennas. rights and interests.
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