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Patent lawsuit focuses on Apple0s encrypted iMessage and FaceTime services, VPN technology

A lawsuit filed with the federal court on Thursday claims that certain aspects of Apple products, including iMessage and FaceTime, are infringing multiple patents of the Finnish company MPH Technologies, which in 2016 tried to grant its IP license to Apple .

The MPH suit has been filed with the US District Court for the Northern District of California and claims eight patents relating to secure messaging solutions aimed at existing Apple software and services.

In particular, Apple encroaches on IP related to sending and forwarding messages over a secure connection, according to the document. Mentioned in the promotion are iMessage, FaceTime and Apple's always-on VPN feature, the latter being a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution that is offered to businesses and educational institutions.

In eight patents, MPH describes methods for initiating secure communication through a variety of technologies, including VPN and end-to-end encryption. Apple has, according to MPH, applied the protected technology to devices running macOS, iOS and OS without permission.

MPH has informed Apple for the first time of what it claimed to be a patent infringement in a series of e-mails sent on July 1, 2016, communications that led to a phone call with an unnamed Apple Patent Acquisition Executive. In a follow-up letter in October of that year, the applicability of MPH's patents was explained and Apple was introduced to a patent that was pending and later granted.

Apple referred the problem to its own patent attorney, who received additional information in November about the allegedly infringed patents. Three months later, after reviewing the documents from MPH, Apple sent a letter with conclusion statements, stating that it did not "believe that a license is required, because the alleged patents are not violated and / or invalid because MPH appears to be the claims. to interpret. "

MPH and Apple representatives discussed the issue further, insofar as they held several teleconference sessions in May 2017 about a possible license agreement. During one of those discussions, the Apple Counsel indicated that the company was preparing an analysis of the MPH patents, indicating that the IP was invalid on the basis of the state of the art. That analysis has never been delivered.

Direct communication between the two companies ended apparently in July 2017, when MPH sent two patents and Apple confirmed the message with a short reply stating that a response would follow shortly.

That same month, patent management entity RPX, of which Apple was an early member, contacted MPH to discuss the problem. MPH is of the opinion that the move took place "in the name of and for the benefit of Apple", but does not provide evidence of the involvement of the tech giant.

A number of Apple brand products are accused in the lawsuit. Marquee messaging platforms iMessage and FaceTime may be violated as implemented in iOS 8, iOS 9, iOS 10, iOS 11, iOS 12, OS X Yosemite, OS X El Capitan, macOS Sierra, macOS High Sierra, Mac OS Mojave, OS 2, OS 3, OS 4 and OS 5. It is also about Apple's acceptance of so-called "MOBIKE" technology with regard to always-on VPN services.

Patents-in-suit were developed by the Finnish company Intrasecure Networks, later known as Netseal, which received research and development funding from venture capital companies, investment funds and Finnish government agencies to create solutions for mobile communications security. The IP was changed to the hands of Netseal Mobility Technologies before it reached its way to MPH.

MPH strives for undetermined compensation for infringement and a permanent ban to prohibit further use of the eight patents.

© Appleinsider

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