Apple has made a big deal about how fast their computers boot lately. Granted, much of the speed has been related to the superfast (comparably, to HDDs) solid state drives found in their newer MacBook Airs – but the OS itself has seen a number of revisions steered to optimizing and streamlining the boot process. And now, Apple’s earned a lawsuit for it.
Florida’s “Operating Systems Solutions, LLC.” (OSS) is claiming that the Cupertino juggernaut is infringing on one of its patents – RE40,092, “Method for quickly booting a computer system” that was filed on August 12th, 2004, and awarded on February 19, 2008. The larger role OSS plays in the development and ownership of this patent is unclear at this point, but it does seem like the company may be acting as one of the Internet’s popularly termed “patent trolls”. Patent trolls are companies that make a substantial revenue solely through the licensing and litigation of their patents.
The court claim describes the offending technology as follows:
“A method for fast booting a computer system, comprising the steps of: A. performing a power on self test (POST) of basic input output system (BIOS) when the system is powered on or reset is requested; B. checking whether a boot configuration information including a system booting state which was created while executing a previous normal booting process exists or not; C. storing the boot configuration information from execution of the POST operation before loading a graphic interface (GUI) program, based on the checking result; and D. loading the graphic user interface (GUI) program.”
It all sounds pretty generic, because it is. That causes headaches for patent officials and attorneys, and even for the companies who file them. The mess of software patents is clogging up some aspects of the court system; lawsuits are flying so fast that companies seek out friendly jurisdictions in places such as rural Texas.
Apple especially is familiar with being on both the sending and the receiving end of these patent disputes;the company is currently involved in ongoing disputes with some of the other powerhouses of the mobile world, Samsung and HTC.