Apple is yet again involved in another legal battle which is guaranteed to inspire eye-rolling everywhere: Operating Systems Solutions, based in (like you need me to tell you this) Florida is suing Apple, claiming that the Cupertino giant infringes on a patented technology intended to aid computers to boot faster. The patent was issued to LG Devices in 2002, though it was re-issued in 2008, and LG is not involved in the suit. The technology in question pertains to a method by which computers boot more quickly, and the patent reads as follows:[quote]The patent reads, “a method for fast booting a computer system, comprising the steps of: A. performing a power on self test (POST) of basic input output system (BIOS) when the system is powered on or reset is requested; B. checking whether a boot configuration information including a system booting state which was created while executing a previous normal booting process exists or not; C. storing the boot configuration information from execution of the POST operation before loading a graphic interface (GUI) program, based on the checking result; and D. loading the graphic user interface (GUI) program.”[/quote]
CNET has pointed out how Operating Systems Solutions and their patent are both rather lacking in contextual information, thus giving the impression that some patent trolling may be afoot:[quote]It’s currently unclear what Operating Systems Solutions actually does. Several Google searches by CNET yielded no results for the company. The firm also doesn’t appear to have contact information. However, CNET did contact the company’s attorney, who has not immediately responded to a request for comment or for information on the firm.[/quote]
“Patent Trolling” is a term used to describe the act of grabbing up patents that don’t actually pertain to a product created by the party who files it but, instead, are held for the purpose of finding a large company, making it seem as if they are infringing on the patent, and suing them for lots of money. The term has been around for a while but has become much more ubiquitous since the high-profile efforts by Lodsys to squeeze money out of iOS app developers and Apple themselves.
One of the common tell-tale signs that a company exists solely to patent troll is when there doesn’t seem to be anything else going on with them aside from the lawsuit; no products or meaningful corporate history. Such is the case with Lodsys and, at first glance, Operating System Solutions seems to be a similar entity.