Apple’s lawsuit to head off potential patent claims over Wi-Fi messaging can move forward in California, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit says, reports Reuters.
Zipit Wireless has claimed that it owns two instant messaging patents that it alleges Apple has infringed. Following discussions that Apple says stated in 2014, Zipit Wireless then sued Apple in June 2020.
However, as noted by AppleInsider, the company then voluntarily dropped the lawsuit two weeks later. In July 2020, Apple sued Zipit Wireless in part to assert that it does not believe it has infringed patents, but more to prevent the company suing again.
In July 2020, in the Northern District of California, Apple countersued Zipit Wireless for declaratory judgment of noninfringement regarding two patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 7,292,870 (“the ’870 patent”) and 7,894,837 (“the ’837 patent”), after Zipit sued Apple in June 2020 for patent infringement.
Zipit previously accused Apple of infringing the patents-in-suit, entitled, “Instant Messaging Terminal Adapted for Wi-Fi Access Points.” Apple stated that “[w]ithout any proper notice to Apple, Zipit voluntarily dismissed the Former Zipit Litigation without prejudice on June 24, 2020 and the action was terminated on June 25, 2020.” However, Apple added that the parties’ relationship went beyond the lawsuits since Zipit informed Apple of its alleged infringement “several years before filing suit.”
Apple asserted that representatives from both companies met to negotiate in 2015, though they did not reach an agreement. Apple noted the difference between both their inability to come to an agreement and “Zipit’s dismissal of the Former Zipit Litigation without prejudice,” which supposedly “demonstrates that it is highly likely that Defendant Zipit will again assert infringement of the Zipit Patents against Apple.”
According to the company website, Zipit Wireless “removes the complexities of connecting to wireless carriers and enabling subscription services – making it easier to launch and monetize IoT solutions anywhere in the world.”
Zipit is a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in South Carolina, and with all of its employees in South Carolina.