It looks as if Apple’s lawyers will be burning the midnight oil, as another lawsuit has been filed, this time against both Apple and AT&T, concerning the technologies Apple uses for 3D Touch, Force Touch, the Apple Watch Taptic Engine, and vibration patterns for ringtones and notifications.
Immersion, a company that develops and licenses haptic touch feedback technology, today filed a lawsuit against Apple and AT&T accusing the two companies of patent infringement. Citing technologies like 3D Touch, Force Touch, the Apple Watch Taptic Engine, and vibration patterns for ringtones and notifications, Immersion says multiple Apple devices use its intellectual property.
Immersion claims the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition infringe on several of their patents that cover haptic feedback systems. The firm claims the devices all infringe on two patents Immersion holds:
- U.S. Patent No. 8,619,051: “Haptic Feedback System with Stored Effects”
- U.S. Patent No. 8,773,356: “Method and Apparatus for Providing Tactile Sensations”
Immersion further claims that the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus infringe on an additional patent, U.S. Patent No. 8,659,571, titled “Interactivity Model for Shared Feedback on Mobile Devices.”
While it is clear why Apple is named in the lawsuit, less clear is the claim against AT&T. The filing notes AT&T sells Apple products and offers guides, directions, and other materials that “encourage and facilitate infringing use by others.” At this time, it isn’t known why no other wireless carriers that offer Apple products are named.
Immersion has also filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, asking that the sale of the allegedly infringing devices be prevented in the United States.