Good Thing the iPhone Doesn't Have a Brain Wave Analyzer…

Published on March 24, 2009
by John Paczkowski

sillypatentWith its speech synthesizers, brain current-operated controls and solar power source, the device described in Monec Holdings’ patent–“electronic device, preferably an electronic book,”–would seem to have little in common with Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone. Certainly, the iPhone doesn’t yet support brain wave sensors, nor can it display Braille. Still, it is a “light-weight” electronic device with a “touch-screen” and “a power source.” It does have “a flat, frame-like housing.” And it is capable of displaying e-books. Which in Monec’s opinion make it similar enough to an “electronic device, preferably an electronic book” to file suit over. And that’s exactly what the company has done. In a lawsuit (PDF) filed against Apple Monday, Monec accuses the iPhone maker of infringing upon its astonishingly broad patent, claiming Apple’s distribution of e-book applications like Stanza and Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle through its App Store has done it harm. It’s demanding damages, including lost profits and reasonable royalties, as well as attorneys’ fees. Hard to see Monec collecting them though given the breadth and general sci-fi silliness of the patent at issue.

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