A very important case, due to its possible repercussions, against Apple and its App Store in which BlueMail accused it of monopoly was filed, potentially creating a precedent in the judicial confrontation that Apple also has with Epic Games.
Blix said Apple copied its proprietary messaging technology into its 'Sign in with Apple' and then removed the BlueMail app from the App Store. According to Blix, Apple uses App Store search results to target consumers to Apple products, eliminating competition from other companies.
Ben Volach, co-founder of Blix, says Apple has taken over BlueMail's 'Share Email' feature to integrate it into 'Sign in with Apple'.
According to the lawsuit, Share email allows users to communicate "interaction using public addresses Manageable not revealing private directions of interaction" (emphasis in the original: "Manageable using the interaction of public addresses, without revealing the interaction of their private addresses" ). BlueMail users can take advantage of this feature to post an email address on social media and establish a private conversation with customers via that account.
In essence, the technology acts as a clearinghouse for 'anonymized' public messages. The key to BlueMail's private messaging method is the generation of a "reverse list" that links the user's actions with their public address. This technique creates a barrier through which parties can send and receive messages to a single public account without having to provide their private email address.
Judge Stark also dismissed infringement claims relating to a Blix patent on BlueMail which was a mainstay of the lawsuit. A two-step process that was established in 2012 by the Supreme Court in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories Inc. should be used to determine if an idea is patentable, according to the judge.
The lawsuit is based on the abstract idea of using a proxy to facilitate anonymous communications, the judge said. This statement is not included in the patentability exception which allows abstract ideas to be patented if it describes a unique and innovative concept.
According to Bloomberg, Judge Leonard P. Stark dismissed the monopoly claims without prejudice. It found that Blix Inc had failed in its attempt to provide evidence of Apple's monopoly or anti-competitive conduct.
Claiming that Apple has the power to restrict competition is not proof that it does. Judge Stark also argues that Blix's arguments have weakened his position. Blix said in the submitted documents that it had been successful across multiple platforms and was available to users for five years before entering the App Store.
Judge Stark said this proved that the App Store is not essential to BlueMail's success.
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