Tsera Invented The Touchscreen In 2003, Sues Everyone
"A company called Tsera has sued 23 electronics companies in federal court in eastern Texas for violating a patent on touchscreens. The suit, filed on July 15, cites Apple's iPod Classic and Nano products, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s Zune digital media player, and several other popular devices as violating a patent, "Methods and Apparatus for Controlling a Portable Electronic Device Using a Touchpad," which was granted in 2003."
Well, here we go again. Is it even remotely surprising anymore when an unknown company with no products that I am aware of digs up a years old patent and sues, well, everyone? No, I didn't think so either. Its hard to say what will become of this suit. Tsera seems to be going especially hard after Apple's iPod and they do indeed hold the patents they are suing over.
According to the Information Week article, there could be some hope in the future. There is apparently legislation in Congress right now to make it more difficult to find courts that will be friendly to this type of litigation. Hopefully that will help but I really think we need to see some sort of reform for the patent process. The patent office can't be expected to identify a potential problem in a patent when its issued but it seems that before these lawsuits are allowed that the patent itself should be given a much closer look.
Someone might want to send the judge a memo that the touchscreen has been around since quite a while before 2003.