iPhone sales in crosshairs as Apple sued by patent holder

Summary:A caller ID patent holder is suing Apple for alleged infringement of two core patents, and is asking a court to ban iPhone sales in the U.S.

In amidst a series of lawsuits that Apple continues to battle, not just on a global scale with Samsung, the Cupertino-based company has yet another case to fight.

Bloomberg reports that Seattle-based Cequint, a unit of data communications service TNS Inc., is suing Apple after claims were made that the iPhone infringe two patents for caller identification technology.

Cequint seeks unspecified damages and a court-ordered injunction to prevent Apple from selling the iPhone, believed to contain the technology, according to a complaint submitted to a federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

In the complaint filed, the company "will be irreparably harmed" unless sales of Apple's smartphone are stopped by a judge.

The technology thought to be used in the iPhone is also used in a number of other, presumably licensed handsets.

Cequint has ties with BlackBerry, Microsoft's Windows Phone, and Android vendors. It also works with Sony, Motorola, Nokia, Google and Samsung, the company says on its website.

The company earlier this year, T-Mobile launched a caller ID feature that would integrate into the contacts functionality of certain smartphones, to add additional information to the numbers stored in the phone.

The two patents believed to have been infringed are U.S. Patent No. 6,353,664 and 7,200,212, which relate to caller identification technology.

Apple did not wish to comment, a spokesperson said a short time ago. Nobody from Cequint or parent company TNS was available to comment at the time of publication.

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Topics: Smartphones, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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