John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple Tied Up in Booting Suit

It’s going to be a busy fall for Apple legal. A multitude of iPhone-related patent suits are in litigation, and now there’s a new one concerning its Mac operating system.

PatentlyApple reports that Operating Systems Solutions LLC has filed suit against Apple, alleging OS X violates a patent it owns for quickly booting an operating system. The patent at issue here, RE840,092: “Method for Quickly Booting a Computer System,” describes what seems to be a pretty basic process:

“A method for fast booting a computer system, comprising the steps of: A. performing a power on self test (POST) of basic input output system (BIOS) when the system is powered on or reset is requested; B. checking whether a boot configuration information including a system booting state which was created while executing a previous normal booting process exists or not; C. storing the boot configuration information from execution of the POST operation before loading a graphic interface (GUI) program, based on the checking result; and D. loading the graphic user interface (GUI) program.”

Operating Systems Solutions cites Apple’s MacBook Pro as an example of infringing hardware, but argues that anything running Mac OS X is liable. It’s seeking injunctive relief as well as damages.

At first glance, this seems like just another case of a patent troll coming forward to try its hand at squeezing some cash out of Apple. But as Florian Mueller notes over at FOSSpatents, there may be something else going on here as well. Operating Systems Solutions LLC appears to have acquired the patent at issue in this case from LG Electronics. And while there’s no evidence of a working relationship between the two companies (LG is not included in the suit), it’s certainly possible that Operating Systems Solutions could be a proxy for LG, which sells a number of Android-based devices that might draw Apple’s ire.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald