Apple Sued Yet Again For Patent Infringement Over iTunes/iPod

from the promoting-what-kind-of-progress,-exactly? dept

Apple has been sued over and over again by companies claiming to hold patents on some of the most basic concepts found in Apple's iTunes and iPod offerings. However, given Apple's seeming willingness to pay up to settle such suits, it really shouldn't be a surprise that more companies are coming up with even more ridiculous patents to sue over. The latest is from a company named ZapMe which claims to hold a couple of patents that it says covers iTunes and the iPod. Of course the company is demanding an injunction and damages, though it seems unlikely that a court would ever grant an injunction. As for the patents themselves one was granted back in 2006 and the other came earlier this week. The newer patent is actually a "continuation" patent, a process that has been widely abused by some patent holders to adjust older patents to make sure they cover newer technologies. The Patent Office has been trying to put some limits on continuations, but a court recently wouldn't allow them to put the new rules in place. Take a read through the patent itself and explain, please, how this possibly served the purpose of furthering innovation?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Kiba, Mar 13th, 2008 @ 12:06pm

    Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

    In my opinion, the patent trolls deserve the worst label. They are absolutely corrupted of the most absolute.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Rob, Mar 13th, 2008 @ 12:18pm


    In Texas of course

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Mr kappa, Mar 13th, 2008 @ 12:49pm

    patent laws abused

    "Take a read through the patent itself and explain, please, how this possibly served the purpose of furthering innovation?" I couldnt say it any better... does anybody know how many bootleg copies China has made over the last few year?? and rarely I hear that they havent been accountable for, in this case apple hires American employes to make most of its parts. There will never be innovation when your own people try to take advantage of you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    DanC, Mar 13th, 2008 @ 12:57pm

    Found an interesting article from 2006 concerning ZapMedia here

    From the article:

    While ZapMedia’s business strategy may be suspect in hindsight, they were ahead in the digital media rights game with their 1999 filing of patent number 7,020,704 titled, “System and method for distributing media assets to user devices via a portal synchronized by said user devices”. This was the first of four patents covering all of ZapMedia’s technologies. There have been numerous reports of the potential disruption that this patent may cause in the digital media marketplace, as it appears that Apple (and others) may not have secured their freedom to operate.

    ZapMedia Services (successor to ZapMedia Inc.’s assets) has a new business strategy that doesn’t involve a courtroom battle. On March 28, 2006, ZapMedia was granted their patent and has indicated that they are not interested in enforcing the patent rights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Gecko, Mar 13th, 2008 @ 1:26pm

    Spineless Companies

    Companies like Apple invite this abuse by these greedy opportunistic firms looking to make money the old fashioned way, by extortion. What makes the problem worse is that this type of extortion is fully backed by our govt. And the wonderful patent system we have.

    Why a large successul company like Apple chooses to wimp out and pay these ridiculous suits rather than fight them is pathetic and just makes it worse for them and every other company that has the nerve to actually make a successful product.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anon, Mar 13th, 2008 @ 1:34pm

    Yay frivolous lawsuits from scum of the earth who cannot be bothered to go out and make an actual living.

    These guys make politicians look respectable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Dazza, Mar 13th, 2008 @ 2:08pm

    Patents kill innovation

    Patents are killing innovation in all areas but especially software and computer services.
    Companies like Microsoft and Apple get ridiculous patents such as for "Mouse clicks" and Apples "finger or touch gestures" which attempt to stop any other company or individual in expanding on simple ideas.
    I say great for anybody that can get something out of these monolith money hungry dictators, but over all the patent system is clearly killing the industry, especially the smaller developments. Future advancements are limited due to the U.S. Patent system.
    Don't worry about developing innovative technology! Grab a simple and nasty patent and go sue the ones that are trying to create innovation! Why innovate when you can litigate, decimate and incinerate any opposition! Its the American way!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 11:36am

    Total agreement!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 11:38am

    Total agreement!

    The continuation process is so heavily abused it should be eliminated. The Courts are powerless to do so without the proper legislation from Congress, though, and Congress is deep in the corporate "feed trough". Again, CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 4:27pm

    These companys are just after money. I have a patent and copyright on 138 sexual positions. Everyone owes me $138.00!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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