Apple has found itself at the centre of a legal battle that could see it forced to shut its online store, after it was claimed that certain aspects of its website violated patents more than ten years old.
The case, which was filed by Clear with Computers – a Texas-based computer retailer – claims that the custom computer ordering systems used by Apple and HP, which has also been named in the case, infringe on patents it was granted in March 1997 and November 1994.
The patents in question relate to: "computer-based techniques to propose and complete sales of multiple parts in a single order." The system is used by other PC vendors and retailers such as Dell, signaling that they too might be targeted soon.
According to court documents, Clear with Computers is asking for a permanent injunction on both Apple and HP's online stores, as well as 'enhanced' damages for what it claims is deliberate infringement of its patents.
The firm has already had success in a similar lawsuit against Staples over the same patents.
Apple and HP both refused to comment on the case.
Source: Apple Insider