Tyler (TX) - A man recently convicted of healthcare fraud has filed a lawsuit against Apple on behalf of a company called SP Technologies, claiming the touch screen interface on the iPhone infringes on a patent he filed at the turn of the decade.
Peter Boesen says he filed a patent on behalf of SP for a "method and medium for readable keyboard display incapable of user termination."
The August 2000 patent includes claims like a "graphical keyboard on a touch screen display to receive input from a user" and a "graphical keyboard on the touch screen display such that the user cannot move, resize, remove, or close the graphical keyboard through the user interface while the input area remains and requires input."
The lawsuit, which was filed in a federal court in Texas, claims "the use, sale, and offer for sale of [Apple’s] iPhone product and system" infringes on the company’s patent.
SP also alleges that letters sent to Apple in February went unanswered. "Apple failed to investigate, respond to the letter...or take reasonable steps to avoid infringement," says SP in its lawsuit.
The backgrounds of SP and patent holder Peter Boesen may shed light on the legitimacy of the claim. Information Week reports that SP has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Canon, LG, and Kyocera in the past. Boesen also has a mark in his legal standing.
The Des Moines, Iowa surgeon was reportedly convicted of healthcare fraud in May. He was ordered to pay back more than $900,000 in fraudulent claims and was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison. He is currently free pending an appeal, but could well be incarcerated by the time the iPhone lawsuit hits the docket.
Apple has not yet commented on the lawsuit.