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Apple targeted by a patent-troll… with an old Hewlett-Packard patent



Apple targeted by a patent-troll… with an old Hewlett-Packard patent


For patent trolls, there’s never a bad time to sue a juicy target. And Apple remains a good target with its woolen sock of more than 100 billion dollars. Sonrai Memory, a holder of patent portfolios (which only serve to sue those who infringe them) is suing Apple for alleged infringement of patent 6,874,014 titled “Multiprocessor chip with multiple operating systems” and patent 6,724,241 titled “Variable load pump circuit with dynamic load”. Obviously, Sonrai Memory’s objective is to recover substantial damages, especially since the iPhone 6 models to the iPhone 13 Pro Max as well as several Mac models.

Apple is only the latest in a long list of defendants here: Sonrai Memory has already filed a complaint against Texas Instruments, Samsung, Lenovo, or even AMD, i.e. very large companies that can easily be relieved of a few hundred millions of dollars. For the record, the Sonrai Memory complaint patents were originally filed by Hewlett-Packard and semiconductor company Atmel (which went bankrupt in 2016).

Patent troll Sonrai Memory sues Apple for alleged infringement of HP technology

Another week, another patent troll is suing Apple for alleged infringement of patents purchased for the sole purpose of suing.

Sonrai Memory has filed similar infringement complaints against a wide range of other technology companies, including Google, Lenovo, LG, Samsung and Western Digital

The lawsuits were spotted by Apple obviously.

The non-practitioner entity (NPE) claims that Apple infringed granted patents 6,874,014 entitled “Multiprocessor Chip with Multiple Operating Systems” and 6,724,241 entitled “Variable Charge Pump Circuit with Dynamic Load.” The patents were originally owned by Hewlett-Packard and a semiconductor company called Atmel which shut down in 2016.

Of course, Sonrai Memory doesn’t do anything, they just pursue big companies with deep pockets. A simple Google search will show you a long list of their lawsuits against Texas Instruments, Samsung, Lenovo, AMD and now Apple. Yet, as boring as patent lawsuits are, Apple needs to take them seriously, as they sometimes beat Apple in court, as Optis Wireless did.

The company claims that Apple iPhones Models 6 through 13 Pro Max, as well as various Mac models from 2018 infringe their patents.

As is often the case with these claims, one of the patents is incredibly generic and should never have been granted.

One aspect of the present invention is to provide a multi-processing system comprising multiple processors mounted on a single chip. The multiple processors are connected to memory storing multiple operating systems. Each of the multiple processors can run one of the multiple operating systems.

Another aspect of the present invention is to provide a multi-processing system comprising a plurality of groups of processors mounted on a single chip. Groups of processors are connected to a memory storing several operating systems. Each of the processor groups can run one of multiple operating systems. The group of processors may include one or more on-chip processors.

Certain embodiments of the present invention are capable of achieving certain advantages, including some or all of the following: mounting multiple processors on a single chip reduces the wiring problem inherent in connecting multiple processors on separate chips in separate boxes; mounting multiple processors on a single die reduces the latency required for communication between processors and improves message passing efficiency, potentially enabling a whole new class of applications (e.g., data mining) to run on such a multiprocessing system; mounting multiple processors on a single chip reduces chip-to-chip communication costs and improves power efficiency; and increased scalability for multiprocessing.

These general patents are perfect for use by patent trolls as they describe an approach commonly used by a wide range of tech companies.

The other is for a method of erasing data in flash memory, and Apple seems to have been included in the target list of companies because some of its products use a NAND chip made by SK Hynix, which is supposed to use patented technology from HP.

While Apple can never afford to ignore these opportunistic cases, it is currently embroiled in a much more serious patent infringement battle with Ericsson, which has already seen the sale of iPhones banned in one country, with other import and sale bans that may follow.