A Texas company is suing pretty much the entire smartphone industry for allegedly infringing a patent for an “interactive terminal for the access of remote database information” issued in 1995.
In a complaint filed Dec. 2 in East Texas federal court, Garnet Digital LLC, a company created in September and based near Dallas, claims most all of the country’s major smartphone manufacturers, operating systems and cell phone service providers are violating its patent. Garnet is demanding royalties from Apple, Google, AT&T, Verizon, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung and even Radioshack – along with many other companies – according the complaint. The company says dozens of models of smartphones, from iPhones to the most popular phones made by HTC and Samsung, infringe its patent.
The complaint offers little background information on Garnet, and there is virtually no information online about the company. The Texas Secretary of State lists Richard Delgado as the company’s manager. In a corporate disclosure statement filed with the court, Garnet says it has no parent corporation and that no publicly held corporation owns more than 10 percent of its stock.
The patent in question, No. 5,379,421, was initially assigned to Laursar Communications in 1995, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website. It stayed with Laursar until May of this year when it was transferred three times in five months, winding up with Garnet Digital in October.
Garnet’s attorneys at Antonelli, Harrington & Thompson LLP in Houston did not immediately return phone messages and email requests for comment on this story.
Read the full complaint [PDF] here.