Appearing in the April 28, 2008 issue of EE Times, Thomas Claburn of InformationWeek writes:
Apple's rise in sales has been accompanied by an increase in patent infringement lawsuits.
During the first four months of 2008, Apple was named as a defendant in eight patent infringement lawsuits, up from five during the same period in 2007. Only one such lawsuit was filed during the first four months of 2006, on behalf of Burst.com. Apple settled that lawsuit for $10 million last November. The first four months of 2005 also brought just one patent lawsuit against Apple. In 2004, three patent lawsuits were filed against Apple from January through the end of April.
In the latest such suit, Apple last week was sued for alleged patent infringement in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of inventor Henry Milan by Detroit-based law firm Butzel Long, claims that Apple's iPod Nano and iPod Touch use Flash memory in a way that violates U.S. patent No. 6,991,483.
The lawsuit seeks treble damages for willful infringement and an injunction against the sale of the iPod Nano and iPod Touch. However, Huget said the inclusion of that request in the initial filing didn't mean he would ultimately seek an injunction. It's not yet clear whether the case is strong enough to make an injunction against any of Apple's products a realistic possibility.
See the full release here.