Apple Sued for Infringement of Circuit-Related Patents

On Tuesday, plaintiff Future Link Systems LLC filed a complaint against Apple for patent infringement, alleging that the defendant infringed the patents-in-suit via Apple’s electronic devices and components of said devices.

The patents-in-suit are United States Patent Nos. 6,317,804 (the ’804 patent); 6,622,108 (the ’108 patent); 6,807,505 (the ’505 patent); and 7,917,680 (the ’680 patent). The plaintiff argued that it went back and forth with Apple between 2018 and 2019 to inform and discuss Apple’s purported infringement, but Apple asserted non-infringement and invalidity arguments and stated prior art contentions. The plaintiff noted that Apple did not discuss licensing the plaintiff’s patents-in-suit.

For example, in regards to the ’804 patent, entitled, “Concurrent Serial Interconnect for Integrating Functional Blocks in an Integrated Circuit Device,” Apple purportedly “makes, uses, offers for sale, sells, and/or imports certain products (‘accused Products’), including smartphones, tablets, and computers incorporating Apple Ax and Mx processors” that allegedly infringe at least claim 1 of the ’804 patent.

Specifically, claim 1 states, “A circuit arrangement for interfacing a plurality of functional blocks to one another in an integrated circuit device, the circuit arrangement comprising: a plurality of serial ports, each serial port associated with and coupled to a functional block via a point-to-point connection to permit external communication therewith …” Apple allegedly infringes these patented claims because its Ax chip “comprises a circuit arrangement as described in the ARM AMBA (Advanced Microcontroller Bus Architecture) specification, Rev 2.0 and newer revisions,” which, according to the plaintiff fit the description in claim 1 of the ’804 patent. Additionally, Future Link Systems averred that the Ax has a “plurality of serial ports associated with the ARM Advanced High-Performance Bus, each of which is coupled to the AHB” and has “separate serial command interconnects,” “data interconnects,” and “clock interconnects.” Moreover, the AMBA interface controller of Apple’s Ax System is “coupled to each of the serial ports. The multiplexers of the interface controller are set up by the arbiter and decoder to couple a serial port … to make a communications channel between the selected ports.” Reportedly, this infringed the patented claim.

The plaintiff proffered that Apple directly and contributorily infringes, as well as inducing infringement. The plaintiff asserted that Apple knowingly and willfully infringed the patents-in-suit. As a result, Future Link Systems claimed that it has been injured by the purported infringement.

The plaintiff seeks declaratory judgment in its favor; a permanent injunction; an award for damages, costs, and fees; pre and post judgment interest; and other relief.

Future Link Systems is represented by Russ August & Kabat.