Company Sues 23 for Text Completion Tech

Delaware firm Autotext Technologies has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against 23 major technology companies including Apple and IBM, regarding predictive word processing.

Autotext is suing the following companies: Apple, AT&T, Helio, Hewlett-Packard, HTC America, IBM, Kyocera, LG Electronics USA, Microsoft, Motorola, Nintendo of America, Nokia, Nuance Communications, Palm, Qualcomm, Research In Motion, Samsung America, Sanyo North America, Sony, Sony Ericsson, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Zi Corporation.

All companies listed in the lawsuit, Autotext alleges, are infringing on a "computer-based transcription" patent that was filed in 1994. The patent is loosely about predictive word processing, where a list of words is presented when a user begins to input letters, hence the Autotext nomenclature.

Most of the infringing devices are cellular handsets, but the non-phone instances are especially noteworthy. IBM's Lotus Notes, Qualcomm's Eudora 7.1 mail client, Mac's OS X 10.4 and Safari, Nuance's T9 system, and also Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PS3 all come into question in the suit.

Autotext is a subsidiary of Acacia Research, a company in the business of acquiring, developing, licensing and enforcing patents who was recently charged with engaging in frivolous litigation. In August, the company's Micromesh Technology Corp. v. American Recreational Products was deemed a "frivolous infringement investigation" by a Northern California Judge.

The company's latest suit was filed November 9 in the Northern District Court of Ohio.

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