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The United States International Trade Commission today announced that it has launched an investigation into allegations that Apple infringed on patents owned by Aqua Connect.

Back in October, Aqua Connect and its subsidiary Strategic Technology partners filed complaints against Apple with the United States International Trade Commission and the District Court for the Central District of California accusing Macs, iOS devices, and Apple TVs of infringing on two of its patents.

aquaconnect.jpg

The two patents in question include U.S. Patent RE46,386, "Updating a User Session in a Mach-derived Computer System Environment" and U.S. Patent 8,924,502, "System, Method and Computer Program Product for Updating a User Session in a Mach-derived System Environment."

According to Aqua Connect, both of the patents relate to screen sharing, remote desktop, and terminal server technology. Aqua Connect says that it built the first remote desktop solution for the Mac in 2008, which Apple later built into its iOS and macOS products in the form of AirPlay and other functionality without permission.
"Aqua Connect invented and built the first fully functional remote desktop and terminal server solution for Mac in 2008," said Ronnie Exley, CEO of Aqua Connect. "Initially, our product had Apple's full support. But years later, Apple built our technology into its macOS and iOS operating systems without our permission. These lawsuits seek to stop Apple from continuing to use our technology in their macOS and iOS operating systems."
Aqua Connect's complaint with the International Trade Commission asks for an exclusion order and a cease and desist order that would bar Apple from importing its products into the United States. The ITC says it will be investigating "certain Apple Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Apple TVs."
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Aqua Connect, Inc., and Strategic Technology Partners, LLC, of Orange, CA, on October 10, 2017. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain personal computers, mobile devices, digital media players, and microconsoles that infringe patents asserted by the complainants. The complainants request that the USITC issue a temporary exclusion order and a temporary cease and desist order based on a motion for temporary relief, and that the USITC ultimately issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order.
Aqua Connect's patent infringement lawsuit separately accuses Apple of willful infringement and seeks damages.

Article Link: U.S. ITC Investigating Claims Apple Infringed on Patents Owned by Aqua Connect
 

temna

macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2008
709
408
Dumbest patent ever, just because of the operating system they can patent this separately from any other remote access app?!?
 

BMcCoy

macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2010
1,689
3,377
Someone somewhere has a patent for “a device that can do things”, and they’re about to sue every tech company in the world.



....I really should have told my careers advisor I wanted to be a patent lawyer..
 

fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
2,486
2,589
Silicon Valley
Screen Sharing app, based on open-source VNC protocol, was added to OS X 10.5 in 2007.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_Sharing

So not sure how much leverage these guys have.
Apple has been adding their own extensions on top of VNC since their first screen sharing attempt in 2007. For example, you can log into a user that isn't currently active and use it, even if someone is physically using another account on the same computer. I'm not interested enough to check, but that would be my first guess as to what is allegedly a violation.
 
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alexgowers

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2012
1,338
891
They seem to be trying to lump Remote Desktop and screen sharing together. Airplay I would categorise as a display method not remote access. I think they’re trying to blur the lines to claim Remote Desktop has been implemented in iOS when it hasn’t.

I do hate the idea of Apple getting away with stealing IP but this again seems frivolous and unrelated to the core technology being used.
 

usarioclave

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2003
1,447
1,506
Screen sharing itself has been part of X-Windows since forever.

Their patents are some kind of odd user session thing, which from the abstract:

'updating a user session in a terminal server environment"

Uh, not sure OSX counts as a terminal server environment guys. Plus patent 1 is shared memory updating:

"Transfer of display data corresponding to an updated user interface can occur via a memory shared between an agent server and an agent client in a terminal server environment"

Provisionally filed 2008, filed 2014.
 

fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
2,486
2,589
Silicon Valley
I love that they are suing Apple for a patent that depends on Apple's OS.
I laughed at that too, but I checked and saw that Mach wasn't developed by Apple. I think they have their own version of it, and IDK if this patent is based on that one.
 

usarioclave

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2003
1,447
1,506
I laughed at that too, but I checked and saw that Mach wasn't developed by Apple. I think they have their own version of it, and IDK if this patent is based on that one.

Mach was developed by CMU and used by NeXT which turned into OSX. NeXT actually supported remote sessions back in the day, so the patent is probably invalid because NeXT was doing it way back when. The patent is pretty specific, and unless they (and Apple) have some kind of fancy "shared memory between computers" implementation it's probably bogus. AFAIK the only real remote shared memory implementation was one that was bought by Dell, their name escapes me though.

However, that's what lawyers are for.
 
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Tubamajuba

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2011
2,124
2,224
here
Take an existing patent and add "in a Mach-derived System Environment" lmao.

Next up add "in ARM-derived System Environment"
I see you over there, grilling bun-length hot dogs on a gas grill set to the second highest temperature in a Mach-derived system environment. Pay up or else!
 

mabhatter

macrumors 6502a
Jan 3, 2009
973
331
Screen sharing itself has been part of X-Windows since forever.

Their patents are some kind of odd user session thing, which from the abstract:

'updating a user session in a terminal server environment"

Uh, not sure OSX counts as a terminal server environment guys. Plus patent 1 is shared memory updating:

"Transfer of display data corresponding to an updated user interface can occur via a memory shared between an agent server and an agent client in a terminal server environment"

Provisionally filed 2008, filed 2014.
I thought we were finally done with the “provisional filing” BS. That was a focus of the last big patent law change like 10 years ago and those should have shook out by now.

This was a REALLY common tactic in the 1990’s to “submarine” a vaguely written technology that would soon be everywhere with a “flag on the beach” then amend, extend, and edit for a decade to make the original look just like what everyone else was doing with a final filing. Companies spent years and millions of dollars beating “submarines” out of courts.

Barcode patents were some of the most famous “submarines” that an individual/company kept alive overlapping barcode printing/reading/encoding/scanning patents for DECADES at a time holding the whole market hostage... see the lack of basic barcode apps from major publishers on iOS for how throughly they beat the market down and still scared everyone off from technology created and first used in the seventies.
 
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DeepIn2U

macrumors G4
May 30, 2002
10,317
4,551
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Funny how only now this company is deciding to sue Apple who’s nearing a trillion dollar company.

Patent filing lawsuits should only have financial values relevant to the year of the patent being filed and the alleged violation using the patent. Ex if filed in 2014 and Apple released OSX then using the patent in question the the year of suing should be based on that year and valid only then not some 3yrs later. It doesn’t take a patent company to realize a company is using that patent that long does it?

Oh well.
 

Kabeyun

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2004
3,201
5,997
Eastern USA
Aqua Connect's complaint with the International Trade Commission asks for an exclusion order and a cease and desist order that would bar Apple from importing its products into the United States.
Don’t know how this’ll end but it won’t end this way.
 

Swampthing

Suspended
Mar 5, 2004
651
575
I have a new patient “using a thing to make other things do things”

Where is my lawyer????

Gotta love people who obviously don’t bother to read the article before just shooting from the hip with a cute little quip.

It’s a little bit more than that. try reading the article.
 
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