Apple sued in server-to-iPod song shift patent clash
Someone else owns downloading, apparently
Apple has been sued again, once more by a company claiming ownership of technology embedded in the iPod and iTunes Music Store.
The plaintiff is one ZapMedia Services, which alleged in a complaint filed with the US District Court for Eastern Texas that the Apple products infringe patents it holds for distributing digital content over the internet, specifically routing it from servers to any number of playback devices.
Two patents form the basis of ZapMedia's lawsuit. Both were applied for back in 1999. One was granted in March 2006, but the other only achieved the US Patent and Trademark Office's thumbs-up this week. Hence the action filed yesterday.
ZapMedia claims it approached Apple with a view to licensing its intellectual property, but the Mac maker was having none of it.
Two years ago, in April 2006, Apple was sued by Burst.com for infringing four patents relating to downloading music and video content over the net. By November 2007, the two opponents had shaken hands on a licensing deal that cost Apple $10m - a sixth of what Microsoft coughed up to license the same technology after it too was sued by Burst.com.
Apple made $1.58bn on sales totalling $9.61bn in the three months to 31 December 2007, so this kid of payment is really just small change for the Mac maker.
i wish i'd thought to patent the practice of patenting very generic ideas in the hope that someone in the next 20 years will do something along the same lines so that then i can sue them for millions without having to do any work myself
Rocking Horse poo collector...
And the next patent is...
...using speakers/headphones to play back said music! Oh no, sue everyone for doing that, someone must own "using speakers/headphones to listen to music".
The purpose of patents?
I thought the original purpose of a patent was to encourage innovation and progress. It appears to have changed 180 degrees and is now a mechanism for stifling innovation and progress.
@ Tony Smith
Typical commentary from someone bitter about their own inability to invent or create something original and therefor receive appropriate compensation for their efforts.
Not that I necessarily agree with all the lawsuits...but patents are important; like it or not, friend.
The only thing that staggers the educated mind is why so damned many of us are forced to surrender the results of our effprts to some (oftentimes) lazy SOB whose wallet is already fatter than any one of us drones.