These patent lawsuit stories are basically madlibs anyway, so what the hell: ST CLAIR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CONSULTANTS has sued APPLE COMPUTER over CAMERA TECHNOLOGY in the IPHONE. They have a history of WINNING LAWSUITS, and BUTT FARTS.
The suit bears a lot of the stamps of hollow patent trollery, from the outside-the-industry plaintiff company to the late filing—the iPhone has been out for a couple years now, and it's had a camera the whole time. Thing is, these guys aren't bullshitting: they have a history of winning similar suits against major camera manufacturers, including Sony, which paid them $US25m in 2001, and Canon, which paid them $US34m in damages in 2003. They've entered into licensing agreements with "many" of the companies they've sued, which include the likes of Samsung, Nokia and Nikon. So, what's their secret? Patents like this:
Digital cameras, have you ever heard of them? You can get away with patenting some pretty silly stuff, especially when the technology is new. But to have a patent like this—among others, including a patent on digital shutter buttons, and one for storage and display methods for digital images—awarded in the early 90s and upheld by the courts is apparently a pretty sweet gig. This will be one to watch, since companies and people who land in court with Apple have a tendency to, one sec, DIE HORRIBLY. There. [LoopinSight, specific patent list here]