Apple, Sprint, Others Hit With False Patent Marking Suit

By Allison Grande (July 15, 2010, 12:47 PM EDT) -- An attorney-owned limited liability company has launched a qui tam action accusing Sprint Nextel Corp., Apple Inc., Verizon Wireless and Samsung Telecommunications America LLC of falsely marking several products — including Apple's iPod and iPhone and Sprint's Rumor Touch — with expired or inapplicable patents.

Americans for Fair Patent Use LLC filed suit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, claiming that the defendants have intentionally deceived the public by linking certain data products, phones and wireless Internet cards to patents that have either expired or do not cover the marked products.

"Each false marking by...

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