What you need to know
- Apple is being sued by SpaceTime3D.
- It is alleged that the Cupertino company is infringing on patents relating to three-dimensional displays.
- SpaceTime3D claims it has patented the tech used by Apple in its multitasking and Safari interfaces.
Apple has been sued by a company called SpaceTime3D over claims it has infringed on patents relating to displaying three-dimensional space on a 2D surface.
A suit filed in the United States District Court of Western Texas Wednesday states:
The dense litigation doesn't do a great job of explaining what this means exactly, so here's an image reflective of the sample "infringements" cited in the case:
The patent is designed to improve user interfaces on a small screen by displaying images in a three-dimensional space to allow a user to browse and navigate unlimited amounts of content. Specific infringements noted by the suit include Safari tabs on devices like Apple's best iPhones (pictured, multitasking on devices like the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 and more.
The suit asserts that Spacetime3D published its patent application in 2007, releasing a public beta version of its own browser that utilized the technology that was featured in outlets including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and more. It is claimed Apple found out about the tech through these reports and through SpaceTime's founder Ezra Bakhash, who showed it to an unnamed Apple executive "who then relayed to Mr. Bakhash that he had forwarded the information to various groups within Apple."
Of course, the technology now helps users navigate many of Apple's best apps and devices, and SpaceTime3D alleges through its suit that Apple willfully, intentionally, and deliberately infringed on its patents. It even claims that Apple has tried to patent the technology itself but was rejected because SpaceTime's patents already existed.
The suit seeks a large amount of damages and a jury trial on all the issues.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9