The Amazon Kindle Fire was announced a few weeks back, and with a launch scheduled for the 15th of November, it looks like the tablet is under fire for allegedly infringing upon patents belonging to Smartphone Technologies whose parent company is Acacia Research. If the company Smartphone Technologies sounds familiar, it is because they have gone after Apple and RIM in the past, similarly claiming patent infringement, and it looks like Amazon’s Kindle Fire is their latest target.
While it’s not really our place to judge, Acacia has often been referred to as a patent troll, a company who does not actually produce any products themselves but owns many patents and who attempts to collect royalties from companies who may or may not have infringed upon them. In this case it appears to that Acacia’s modus operandi has not changed, and they’re basing their patent infringement lawsuit on a rather broad patent which seems to be commonplace in most smartphones and tablets.
“According to the method, a graphical feature having a surface area is displayed on a touch-sensitive screen. ..To control software executing on the processor, a user-supplied writing on the surface area is received and the software is controlled responsive to the writing.”
Acacia is claiming that the Kindle Fire and the updated Kindle 3G + WiFi has infringed upon five of their patents. No word on how much Acacia wants from Amazon or what Amazon’s reply to this lawsuit is just yet.