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Apple faces patent lawsuits over its iPod

Hong Kong firm stakes claim

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Apple is facing two separate patent infringement suits over the iPod, according to reports. One suit relates to a patent for the protection of software against unauthorised use, while the other relates to a patent for a type of musical jukebox.

Hong Kong-based Pat-rights has contacted Apple, according to a posting on its website, to discuss the alleged breach of its US patent number 6,665,797, which covers the provision of “identity information of the rightful user thereof for accessing a network central computer to obtain service(s) or software product(s) or alike”.

Apple’s digital rights management system, known as Fairplay, is in breach of this patent, says Pat-rights. The firm is demanding 12% of profits earned by the computer giant from its iTunes and iPod sales and is thought to have given the company until 21st March to respond.

The second suit, which has already been filed in a US federal court, charges Apple with breaching US patent rights owned by Chicago-based Advanced Audio Devices. The patent – number 6,587,403 – was granted in July 2003 and relates to “a music jukebox which is configured for storing a music library therein”.

According to reports Advanced Audio Devices tried to negotiate with Apple about the patent prior to filing, but without success.

Apple has made no comment on either suit as yet.

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OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Related links

US Patent Number 6,587,403
US Patent Number 6,587,403

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