back to article Apple, LG, Huawei, ZTE, HTC accused of pilfering 'find my phone' tech

A software company that makes tracking tools for military and 911 crews says some of the biggest mobile phone makers on the planet are stealing its technology for their own security tools. AGIS Software Development LLC this week filed suit in the East Texas District Court against Apple, LG, Huawei, ZTE and HTC for violating …

  1. Tim99 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters


    Does El Reg, or any esteemed reader, know why Google who provide the "Google Maps, Android Device Manager, Find My Device, Google Messages, Android Messenger, Google Hangouts, Google Plus, and Google Latitude" software; and have their own line of branded devices using that software are not included? A quite word from the spooks perhaps? Who knows what might come out in a (even a patent plaintive friendly) court like East Texas District?

  2. Mad Hacker

    Nice try

    Apple implemented this in 2009. You're a bit late to the parade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice try

      The US only switched to first to file in 2011. The patents list a priority date in 2004. They will need to have VERY good records of that given the legal resources of the defendants.

      1. Jeffrey Nonken

        Re: Nice try

        But then there's Prior Art. Have we eliminated that?

        1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

          Re: Nice try

          Ham radio has had APRS tracking since 2001 at least, and a website that allows you to track around the world.

  3. Chris Gray 1
    Black Helicopters

    Why not Samsung?

    I also find it curious that Samsung is not listed - aren't they the largest Android seller? I know there is a Find My Device on my Samsung phone that makes my Samsung watch sound, and vice versa.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Why not Samsung?

      Filing suit against Apple and Google is a great way to:-

      1) Get your company a shed load of free publicity

      2) Embiggen your Stock Price - CEO End of year bonus based upon Stock price?.... Goody.

      3) Say, look at me, aren't we great and oh, shhhh don't tell anyone, we are willing to listen to buyout proposals as we are running out of cash.

      Choose any one, two or three plus any others you can think of and there you have it.

      Cynical? Well, how many of this sort of suit do we see in a year? How many actually result in the ginoumous pay day that the lawyers filing suit hope for? How many get dismissed? and finally,

      How many end up with the 'patents of the obvious' end up with the patents becoming invalid?

  4. Bob Vistakin

    You're locating it wrong

    You know, it's been ages since we've had a good old bash at apple via their "You're xxx it wrong" meme. Seeing as we're all on a high celebrating the anniversary of our glorious independence today, I thought I'd rekindle the fond memories of the hubris which comes before a magnificent faceplant, such as the one our strong and stable government just inflicted on itself at the election.

  5. Mage

    I'm baffled

    How are these ideas valid patents at all?

    1. Adam 1

      Re: I'm baffled

      You must have missed this bit then:

      "filed suit in the East Texas District Court"

    2. Pshoot

      Re: I'm baffled

      I love comments like these. Either you think that it was completely obvious, in 2004, to do this (in which case, why didn't you do it and make some cash?), or you think companies should just spend loads of cash developing technology for you to use freely (I presume you work for free, just for the love of it?).

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        Re: I'm baffled

        Because the basic idea - get a mobile device to query a location system and report where it is,is obvious. So obvious that nobody thought to patent it.

        The implementations, however, will be in non-smartphone systems, and thus "invisible" to moderns.

        What Apple, Google etc did was to actually implement the Cloud infrastructure to make it ubiquitous.

        Have you read US8213970B2? It basically describes receive and read acknowledge as email has had "for evah" but "on a mobile device". Remember, for a patent to be "novel" it must not be obviuos to someone "skilled in the art".(see here)

        It's a junk patent, and was only issued because of the disfunctional patent system in the USA.

      2. Clive Galway

        Re: I'm baffled

        Of course it was completely obvious in 2004 - it existed as a product.

        I had tracking software on all my Windows Mobile devices, certainly before 2004

  6. Alex-E

    I think BT had a patent on this around year 2000

    I left BT in 2003, but believe some colleagues had a patent on stolen or lost devices calling back via the Internet (or possibly phone) to inform of their location - at least via IP address, and likely GPS too. I thought it was quite clever at the time.

  7. MiguelC Silver badge

    What I find most troubling in cases like this one is that the patent holder doesn't (always) go after the developer of the infringing SW, but after its users or licensed clients who, we must presume acquired or licensed that SW in good faith.

    The courts should throw away cases likes these.

  8. EnviableOne Silver badge

    Android Mfrs quote Shaggy

    Ok so the android manufactures just say "wasn't Me" and point at google.

    After all they didn't write the software

  9. Fuzz (the service bought by Google and turned into Latitude) was doing the location based interaction stuff in 2000

  10. oneeye


    No one will take this as a serious threat to the defendants. Leaving Google band Samy out only proves something is wrong ether with the suit, or the story hear got it wrong. The location technology is only common sense application and universal. And why did it take the plaintive SO MANY YEARS to suddenly notice this joke infringement? EFF has been working years against just this kind of abuse and the court picked needs to be sanctioned for its part. The law needs to change in regard to Cherry Picking Jurisdiction. Amongst many others concerning patents.

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