Apple and others Sued for Patent Infringement on Find Friends/Find Phone Apps
The patent, "Method and apparatus for locating personnel and objects in response to telephone inquiries," dates back to 1996 and is held by Remote Locator Services LLC, called a shell company by GigaOm, based in Dallas.
An automated position location system is provided which, in response to a telephone caller's inquiry and without human intervention, connects the caller directly to the telephone extension located nearest the individual or object of interest. A transmitter is attached to each individual (or object) to be monitored within a building. A number of stationary receivers are positioned at designated locations throughout the building. When a transmitter is transported within range of a receiver, information about the transmitter's identity and the receiver's location is provided to a tracking system, which calculates the transmitter's location and stores its identity and location in a chronological database. As the transmitter is transported throughout the building, the tracking system continually updates transmitter location information in the database. In response to a telephone caller's inquiry, an automated locating system determines the whereabouts of an individual person or object of interest and communicates a message to the caller which describes that location. Then, as requested by the caller, the locating system automatically places the call to the telephone extension nearest that location. Alternatively, the caller may request a list of those individuals and objects currently at a particular location.
The company, formed in August, seems to have no business besides the seven lawsuits its filed against the like of Apple (FindMyPhone), Google (Latitude). The suits ask for the users to stop using to patent and to pay penalties.