Openwave sues Apple and RIM


Messaging and communications software company Openwave has filed patent infringement claims against both Apple and RIM, alleging the companies’ smartphone and tablet computing products infringe on Openwave five Openwave patents involving how mobile devices connect to the Internet. Openwave says it has approached both Apple and RIM on numerous occasions to try to negotiate a license for the patents in question, but “did not receive a substantive response.”

Openwave filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (PDF) and is seeking to bar imports of several allegedly-infringing devices, including all current iPhone and iPad models and with RIM’s BlackBerry Curve 9330 and BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The company filed a similar complaint in federal district court in Delaware.

“In the end, litigation is the only way we can defend our rights against these large companies that have effectively refused to license the use of the technologies we invented, are using today, and are continuing to develop for our customers,” said Openwave CEO Ken Denman, in a statement. “We are proud that our technology is helping deliver such a rich mobile internet experience to consumers around the world.”

Neither Apple nor RIM have responded to the suit.

Openwave’s patents relate to enabling devices to operate securely and seamlessly over a wireless network, use email even when network service is unavailable, and general cloud computing technology. Two other patents focus on updating applications on mobile devices, as well as pre-caching information for improving user experience without network delays.

Openwave owns about 200 patents, and was the first company to roll out mobile photo messaging technology in 2001; back in 1997, it was the first company to enable mobile operators to offer mobile Internet browsing.

Openwave’s suit comes just days after the company paid the Myriad Group some $12 million to resolve all of that company’s claims on its patents.

The infringement suits join dozens of high-profile infringement cases that are underway in the mobile technology world. Other high profile litigation is underway between Google and Oracle, Apple and HTC, as well as Apple and Samsung.