Grecia v. Apple Inc.
COMPLAINT filed by William Grecia; Jury Demand. Filing fee $ 400, receipt number 0752-9001281. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1)(Jarvis, Stephen)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
JURY TRIAL DEMANDED
William Grecia brings this patent-infringement action against Apple Inc.
William Grecia lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Apple is a corporation organized under the laws of California, with its
principal place of business located at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California 95014.
Jurisdiction and Venue
This action arises under the patent laws of the United States, 35 U.S.C. §§
101 et seq.
This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331 and 1338(a).
This Court may exercise personal jurisdiction over Apple. Apple conducts
continuous and systematic business in Illinois and this District. For example, Apple
designs and manufactures computer software, consumer electronic products, and
computers that Apple licenses and sells in this District. Apple maintains corporate
offices and retail locations in this District. Apple uses a cloud-computing system that
authorizes Apple users in this District access to digital content such as movies, music,
television shows, photos, documents, and other electronic files. This patent-infringement
claim arises directly from Apple’s continuous and systematic activity in this District. In
short, this Court’s exercise of jurisdiction over Apple would be consistent with the
Illinois long-arm statute, 735 ILCS 5/2-209, and traditional notions of fair play and
Venue is proper in this District pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b)(2) and
William Grecia owns United States Patent 8,533,860 (the “‘860 patent”)
and at least one continuing application claiming back to the original priority date of
March 21, 2010. William Grecia invented the methods and products claimed in the ‘860
The field of the invention of the ‘860 patent is digital rights management,
commonly referred to as “DRM.” The movement of books, movies, and music to digital
form has presented a challenge to the copyright owners of the content. The owners wish
to sell the content in a digital form and transfer all attributes of ownership to the buyer,
and yet the owners of the content must protect value by preventing “pirating” of the
content through illicit copying.
DRM schemes to date had locked the purchased content, a movie for
example, to specific devices and in some cases limited playback rights to a single device.
These prior art DRM methods required the content providers (a movie studio in the
example) to maintain computer servers to receive and send session authorization keys to
clients, and the prior DRM methods required that the client reconnect with the servers to
obtain reauthorization. These DRM schemes may be characterized by limiting acquired
content to a specific device that the client continually had to reauthorize to enjoy the
The ‘860 invention provides a solution. With this invention, a consumer
of digital content may enjoy the content on a multiple number of the consumer’s devices
and share the content with the consumer’s friends and family, all while protecting against
unlicensed use of the digital content.
Claim of Patent Infringement
William Grecia is the exclusive owner of the ‘860 patent, which is
attached as Exhibit 1.
The ‘860 patent is valid and enforceable.
Apple has and is directly infringing claims of the ‘860 patent. Apple
makes, uses, sells, and offers for sale products, methods, equipment, and services that
practice claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 21, 25, 28, and 29 of the ‘860 patent.
For example, and without limiting the claims of the ‘860 patent asserted or
the Apple devices and services accused of infringing the ‘860 patent claims, Apple’s
cloud computing service iCloud directly infringes claim 1 of the ‘860 patent.
Claim 1 is “[a] method for authorizing access to digital content using a
cloud system . . . .” iCloud practices a method of authorizing access to digital content—
such as music, movies, photos, and calendars—using a cloud computing system.
The method of claim 1 is one “facilitating access rights between a plurality
of devices . . . .” “Set up iCloud on all your devices. The rest is automatic.”
According to the method of claim 1, a read or write request of metadata of
the digital content is received. This request comprises a verification token of a user, such
as, for example, the user’s email address and password. An iCloud user requests access
to her digital content by requesting that iCloud write her “Apple ID”—email address and
password—to metadata of the digital content: “An Apple ID is the email address you use
as a login for just about everything you do with Apple, including using iCloud to store
your content, buying songs from the iTunes Store, and downloading apps from the App
In claim 1, after the verification token has been authenticated, a
connection is established between a communications console and a server. The
connection is established through a web service capable of facilitating a two-way
exchange between the console and the server relaying the unique identity of the devices
for which access to the digital content is sought. Apple establishes a connection between
the communications console (e.g., the iCloud settings app) and the iCloud servers. The
iCloud web service is capable of facilitating a two-way exchange to complete the
verification process: “iCloud Storage APIs enable your apps to store content in iCloud,
keeping your apps up to date automatically. Use iCloud to give your users a consistent
and seamless experience across iCloud-enabled devices.”
Next, claim 1 involves the step of requesting an identification reference,
such as a unique identifier associated with a device for which the user wishes access to
digital content. The iCloud service requests an identification reference from the
communications console (e.g., the iCloud settings app) in order to connect the user’s
devices to the user’s iCloud content associated with the user’s Apple ID: “A UUID is
made unique over both space and time by combining a value unique to the computer on
which it was generated and a value representing the number of 100-nanosecond intervals
since October 15, 1582 at 00:00:00.” http://developer/apple.com/library/ios/#docu
Next, according to claim 1, the identification reference is received from
the communications console. The iCloud service receives an identification reference
from the iCloud app. As shown below, devices’ GUID and model are communicated to
the iCloud servers:
Finally, claim 1 involves writing either the verification token or the
identification reference into the metadata. iCloud writes, among other things, the user’s
device information into the metadata stored on iCloud, authorizing the user access to the
content stored on iCloud: “iCloud does more than store your content — it lets you access
your music, photos, calendars, contacts, documents, and more, from whatever device
you’re on.” http://www.apple.com/icloud.
Apple knows of the ‘860 patent and nonetheless willfully infringes the
claims, contributes to the infringement of the claims, and induces the infringement of the
claims. Apple actually knows of the ‘860 patent. Apple disclosed the ‘860 patent as
prior art in the following patent applications: 12/766,337 and 12/846,363.
Apple sells telephones, tablet computers, laptop computers, and desktop
computers that contain components for use in practicing the steps of the claims of the
‘860 patent. These components within these devices (e.g., iCloud settings app) perform a
material part of claims of the ‘860 patent. Apple knows that these components on these
devices are especially adapted for use in infringement of the ‘860 patent claims. These
components on these devices are not suitable for a substantial non-infringing use.
Apple induces consumers of telephones, tablet computers, laptop
computers, and desktop computers to infringe the ‘860 patent claims: “To get the most
out of iCloud, make sure to set it up on your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, and PC.”
Prayer for Relief
WHEREFORE, William Grecia prays for the following relief against Apple:
Judgment that Apple has directly infringed claims of the ‘860 patent
Judgment that Apple has contributed to the infringement of the ‘860 patent
Judgment that Apple has induced the infringement of the ‘860 patent
For a fair and reasonable royalty;
For treble damages based on a finding that the infringement of the ‘860
patent claims was willful;
For pre-judgment interest and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate
allowed by law;
For such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.
Demand for Jury Trial
William Grecia demands a trial by jury on all matters and issues triable by jury.
Date: December 6, 2013
/s/ Matthew M. Wawrzyn
Matthew M. Wawrzyn
Stephen C. Jarvis
233 S. Wacker Dr., 84th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606
Counsel for William Grecia
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