Google, Apple, Microsoft sued for thumbnail preview images

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Cygnus Systems Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Google, Apple and Microsoft alleging that the three companies violated a patent, issued in March 2008 and owned by Cygnus, for thumbnail images.

Cygnus has pointed the finger at Google's Chrome, Microsoft's Vista and Internet Explorer 8, and Apple's Mac OS X Leopard, iPhone and Safari Internet.

According to the suit, filed in US district court in Arizona, “The ‘850 Patent [‘System and Method for Iconic Software Environment Management'] generally relates to methods of and systems for accessing one or more computer files via a graphical icon, wherein the graphical icon includes an image of a selected portion or portions of the one or more computer files.”  

Cygnus has asked for “an award of damages adequate to compensate plaintiff for the infringement that has occurred, together with prejudgment interest from the date the infringement began, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty as permitted by 35 U.S.C. § 284.”


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