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Patent suit takes aim at Apple's iTunes, MobileMe, QuickTime

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Apple and 17 other companies were named in a new lawsuit filed this week over two patents related to accessing computer software from remote systems.

BetaNet has targeted Apple, along with Microsoft, IBM, Adobe, Kodak and others, over alleged infringement of two patents. U.S. Patent No. 5,222,134, awarded in 1993, is entitled "Secure System for Activating Personal Computer Software at Remote Locations," while No. 5,103,476, of 1992, has the name "Secure System for Activating Personal Computer Software at Remote Locations."

The complainant has accused Apple of selling software to remote computers through iTunes, Aperture, QuickTime and MobileMe. BetaNet believes these products from Apple are in violation of its patent.

"(Apple is) using, selling and offering to sell computer software via a process that provides a program file -- including a loader segment and a registration shell portion -- to a remote computer having a display," the complaint reads. "The program file contains a first executive control program, representing a limited version of the program file. License transaction information is entered into the registration shell portion, and that information is transmitted from the registration shell to a separate registration program provided in a registration computer."

It continues: "The registration program merges the license transaction information with the second executive control program -- representing a complete version of the program file to -- to generate a unique overlay file. The unique overlay file is transmitted from the registration program to the registration shell, and contains the second executive control program. The overlay file is installed on the main program file, thereby allowing complete operation of the program file."

Other software specifically mentioned by BetaNet in the suit is Adobe's Creative Suite, Acrobat and Photoshop; Carbonite's online backup tools; Intuit's Quicken, QuickBooks and TurboTax; Microsoft Office, OneCare, Windows Server and Silverlight; McAffee VirusScan; and the Rosetta Stone foreign language suite.

Apple is the frequent target of patent-related lawsuits, and the iTunes software in particular is often attacked. Some recent iTunes-related patent suits dealt with information distribution and online billing methods.

The latest suit from BetaNet was filed in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division. Patent lawsuits are often filed there for favorable rulings.

In its annual Form 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in October, Apple said it was then defending itself from more than 47 patent infringement cases, 27 of which were filed during the 2009 fiscal year. Those suits prove costly to defend, and sometimes Apple comes out on the losing end of a large payout. Earlier this month, a Texas patent suit resulted in a 21.7 million ruling against Apple.
post #2 of 37
Basically, they believe they have a patent for selling bits online. Good luck with that.
post #3 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morky View Post

Basically, they believe they have a patent for selling bits online. Good luck with that.

Basically, the article says nothing of the sort. It's about a particular method of downloading a bit of software and then having that software take care of the rest of the download/upgrade. Obviously it was a clever idea when the first person did it, but does that mean that for the next 20 years anyone else who wants to do that has to pay the first dude royalties (or be prevented from doing it)? Seems a bit much in this case. And depending on how the patent was written and how Apple implemented things, it may not apply to Apple software anyway. A jury in Marshall, TX will decide if they can't work things out before it gets that far.

I should move to Marshall, TX. Sounds like jury duty there would be pretty interesting.
post #4 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Basically, the article says nothing of the sort. .... And depending on how the patent was written and how Apple implemented things, it may not apply to Apple software anyway. A jury in Marshall, TX will decide if they can't work things out before it gets that far.

I should move to Marshall, TX. Sounds like jury duty there would be pretty interesting.

Actually, moving your lawsuit to Marshall says a lot about the deal. It seems that Marshall has set it self up as a place that favors the one suing. Time and again, they find for the patent holder no matter how stupid and how much prior art exists.

That is why companies with weak cases go there vs locally.

Just a thought. PS I live near Marshall, and its a pretty hick town.
en

sorry for the double post. Internet is glitchy today :-)
post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Basically, the article says nothing of the sort. .... And depending on how the patent was written and how Apple implemented things, it may not apply to Apple software anyway. A jury in Marshall, TX will decide if they can't work things out before it gets that far.

I should move to Marshall, TX. Sounds like jury duty there would be pretty interesting.

Actually, moving your lawsuit to Marshall says a lot about the deal. It seems that Marshall has set it self up as a place that favors the one suing. Time and again, they find for the patent holder no matter how stupid and how much prior art exists.

That is why companies with weak cases go there vs locally.

Just a thought. PS I live near Marshall, and its a pretty hick town.
en
post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post

Actually, moving your lawsuit to Marshall says a lot about the deal. It seems that Marshall has set it self up as a place that favors the one suing. Time and again, they find for the patent holder no matter how stupid and how much prior art exists.

That is why companies with weak cases go there vs locally.

Just a thought. PS I live near Marshall, and its a pretty hick town.
en

sorry for the double post. Internet is glitchy today :-)


Are the patent trolls at least building a civic center or an uber-cool golf course there for the residents in payment of these jury awards they getting?
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post

Actually, moving your lawsuit to Marshall says a lot about the deal. It seems that Marshall has set it self up as a place that favors the one suing. Time and again, they find for the patent holder no matter how stupid and how much prior art exists.

That is why companies with weak cases go there vs locally.

Just a thought. PS I live near Marshall, and its a pretty hick town.
en

sorry for the double post. Internet is glitchy today :-)


in this case the patent was filed in 1990 right about the time HTML was invented so you can't get more prior art than this
post #8 of 37
@jerkman91

If you were standing right in front of me and SHOUTED the crap you've posted here (ALL CAPS!), I would knock your block off, you vacuous troll. If you don't like the iPhone/ATT connection, don't use it. What you're advocating here is childish, puerile, pathetic, and whinerific. (Is that language clean enough for you?)

Go haunt some other site with your "campaign alert," jerkman. (Why not try a Million Man March on DC next time?)
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post


Just a thought. PS I live near Marshall, and its a pretty hick town.
en

When all the lawyer have to show up where do they stay, in some motel 8 or the next major town.

What we all do not realize this is part of this towns tourist plan, since they can not get people to come spend money on their own, they made it easy to file lawsuits and then high priced lawyer come and spend money at the local establishments. It is a job program for the town.

I thought the Bush Administration was against frivolous lawsuit, I guess that does not apply in his own home state.
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

basically, the article says nothing of the sort. .... And depending on how the patent was written and how Apple implemented things, it may not apply to Apple software anyway. A jury in Marshall, TX will decide if they can't work things out before it gets that far.

I should move to Marshall, TX. Sounds like jury duty there would be pretty interesting.

i don't think these particular cases are handled by jury
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post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

When all the lawyer have to show up where do they stay, in some motel 8 or the next major town.

What we all do not realize this is part of this towns tourist plan, since they can not get people to come spend money on their own, they made it easy to file lawsuits and then high priced lawyer come and spend money at the local establishments. It is a job program for the town.

I thought the Bush Administration was against frivolous lawsuit, I guess that does not apply in his own home state.

Being a judicially-friendly host to a particular group of people is nothing new. Delaware has basically made a business out of playing host to publicly-traded corporations because of their corporate-friendly legislature and business-savy chancellory court.
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

I thought the Bush Administration was against frivolous lawsuit, I guess that does not apply in his own home state.

wtf dude, this has nothing to do with bush at all Oo
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post #13 of 37
I don't understand why it has taken this company 16 years to defend it patent.
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkman91 View Post

( I am not a troll, I am just trying to spread the word)

*plonk*. (This means you've just been killfiled. I think everbody should block you. Just trying to spread the word.)
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

I don't understand why it has taken this company 16 years to defend it patent.

It doesn't the patent was bought and some lawyers finally figure out what it was and what possible current application might be doing what this patent says. They probably had to go back and interview the original patent holder to understand what it was about and then figure out it anyone actually was doing something remote close to what the patent claims to protect.
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkman91 View Post

no, I am not. Go to Fake Steve Jobs blog page and read the article about the iPhone choke hold. If you are an iPhone user like me, then you must be annoyed (or have been in some point in time) about At&t's horrible service.

I don't understand why you have to use harsh language. I am just trying to spread the word. All of us iPhone users need to do this Friday.

And what exactly is this going to achieve? I won't be participating because where I am at, there are NO issues. AT&T is very strong down here (Houston) and have great data speeds, reliable signal and am 100% happy.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetlaw View Post

Being a judicially-friendly host to a particular group of people is nothing new. Delaware has basically made a business out of playing host to publicly-traded corporations because of their corporate-friendly legislature and business-savy chancellory court.

Right, but the odd part about this is that these are federal cases brought before federal judges, all appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. So every time an opening comes up in this district the sitting President (of either party) decides "oh, time for another one of those whacky Marshall-style appointees, where's my list?" Obviously I'm missing something, but I don't get how this persists. Perhaps it's just a couple of particular judges who happen to be in that district and until they retire Marshall is the place to go to file your patent claims.
post #18 of 37
Patent filers should have a relatively short time to actually do something with a patent before it expires. These "ideas" were patented in 1992 and 1993. The strategy is simple patent a fuzzy concept and wait for it to be implemented industry-wide by large companies that actually do something and attempt to cash in for an undeserved payday. It's extortion and not only should their suit fail, they should go to jail.

No doubt somebody has already filed patents on the holodeck, replicator, and transporter.
post #19 of 37
Patent filers should have a relatively short time to actually do something with a patent before it expires. These "ideas" were patented in 1992 and 1993. The strategy is simple patent a fuzzy concept and wait for it to be implemented industry-wide by large companies that actually do something and attempt to cash in for an undeserved payday. It's extortion and not only should their suit fail, they should go to jail.

No doubt somebody has already filed patents on the holodeck, replicator, and transporter.
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkman91 View Post


Welcome to 2009.

Welcome to the ignore list, troll.
post #21 of 37
Sorry to post something relevant to the topic, but I did a little research and it turns out that "US District Court Eastern District of Texas - Marshall Division" translates into two, count 'em two, federal judges. One was appointed by Clinton in 1999 the other by Bush in 2002. I don't know which has the reputation for being friendly to these types of cases, maybe both of them are. Presumably when one of them retires we will see an immediate change in filing behavior, with people bringing suit in whatever random court has these types of judges.

These are the two judges that serve the Marshall District:
http://www.txed.uscourts.gov/Judges/Davis/Davis.htm
http://www.txed.uscourts.gov/Judges/Ward/Ward.htm
post #22 of 37
Marshal District just needs to be shut down and incinerated.
post #23 of 37
I had given the flagrantly offtopic offender a bit of a timeout, and cleaned up the thread of the offending posts and direct replies.
post #24 of 37
Actually wikipedia seems to point at the juries and a law allowing any attorney that passed the bar in any state, as the reason for all these patent cases in Marshall.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...trict_of_Texas

But then the judges must some hand in it too.
post #25 of 37
Fair enough.
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard View Post

Actually wikipedia seems to point at the juries and a law allowing any attorney that passed the bar in any state, as the reason for all these patent cases in Marshall.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...trict_of_Texas

But then the judges must some hand in it too.

Also from that Wiki link: "the district has a set of local rules for patent cases and relatively fast trial settings"

If this is a federal court, why on earth would they have different rules than every other federal court?
post #27 of 37
"U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently dismissed Marshall as a "renegade jurisdiction" that unfairly favors litigious patent holders." ("Court Marshall High-stakes patent lawsuits surge in small East Texas town" Austin American Statesman, April 16, 2006")

I have to ask if it is believed by one of the Justices of the Supreme Court that this is a "renegade jurisdiction" why in the name of justice is the place still allowed to operate like a loose cannon on deck? I have to also ask where is the appeals court for this region parking its brain?

it is a pity that the False Claims Act (also known as the Lincoln Law) can't be used to shut down this financial gravy train. Having hundreds of concerned US citizens suing this district on behalf of the Federal Government in their own districts would force somebody to do something about this court's flaky behavior.
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple and 17 other companies were named in a new lawsuit filed this week over two patents related to accessing computer software from remote systems.

What a joke, ever seen an IBM green screen 3270 terminal? or a Tektronix Graphics terminal dating from the '70s. Somebody needs to get a life.

The next thing will be claiming against the inventor of the Newtonian telescope, trouble is he died several hundred years ago.

Patents are for physical ideas, not software, IMHO
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

When all the lawyer have to show up where do they stay, in some motel 8 or the next major town.

What we all do not realize this is part of this towns tourist plan, since they can not get people to come spend money on their own, they made it easy to file lawsuits and then high priced lawyer come and spend money at the local establishments. It is a job program for the town.

I thought the Bush Administration was against frivolous lawsuit, I guess that does not apply in his own home state.

Patent infringement cases are tried in federal courts and heard by federal judges not state judges. Federal judges are appointed and not elected. Feel free to correct me, but I believe most of the federal judges in that district are Clinton appointees.

Still in all, that doesn't mean there isn't a need to revamp the U.S. Patent system. I'm thinking increase the burden of proof on the plaintiff during the pre-trial phase to weed out the frivolity. Also making the plaintiff pay court costs & lawyer fees for both parties if they bring a "bonehead"
suit might also help.
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post

Actually, moving your lawsuit to Marshall says a lot about the deal. It seems that Marshall has set it self up as a place that favors the one suing. Time and again, they find for the patent holder no matter how stupid and how much prior art exists.

That is why companies with weak cases go there vs locally.

Just a thought. PS I live near Marshall, and its a pretty hick town.
en

sorry for the double post. Internet is glitchy today :-)

I have relatives in the Tyler & Marshall area and their internet service pretty much sucks a majority of the time. No problem with me on the double post. I understand your problem very well.
post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

@jerkman91

If you were standing right in front of me and SHOUTED the crap you've posted here (ALL CAPS!), I would knock your block off, you vacuous troll. If you don't like the iPhone/ATT connection, don't use it. What you're advocating here is childish, puerile, pathetic, and whinerific. (Is that language clean enough for you?)

Go haunt some other site with your "campaign alert," jerkman. (Why not try a Million Man March on DC next time?)

Well said!!
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximara View Post

"U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently dismissed Marshall as a "renegade jurisdiction" that unfairly favors litigious patent holders." ("Court Marshall High-stakes patent lawsuits surge in small East Texas town" Austin American Statesman, April 16, 2006")

I have to ask if it is believed by one of the Justices of the Supreme Court that this is a "renegade jurisdiction" why in the name of justice is the place still allowed to operate like a loose cannon on deck? I have to also ask where is the appeals court for this region parking its brain?

it is a pity that the False Claims Act (also known as the Lincoln Law) can't be used to shut down this financial gravy train. Having hundreds of concerned US citizens suing this district on behalf of the Federal Government in their own districts would force somebody to do something about this court's flaky behavior.

What makes this problem even worse is that federal judges are appointed for life and it is extremely hard to do anything about the crap job some of them do.
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

in this case the patent was filed in 1990 right about the time HTML was invented so you can't get more prior art than this



True but look at two issues

1. is this an idea patent or a tech patent. lately idea patents are getting tossed out more and more

2. has this company ever used this patent to make anything. if not then they are basically squatting on it and of late that is being more and more frowned upon.

I'm really thinking that the rules of war need to be amended so you can only file in the district that one of the parties is actually based in. Cause this running to Texas thing for an easy win is getting old.
post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

True but look at two issues

1. is this an idea patent or a tech patent. lately idea patents are getting tossed out more and more

2. has this company ever used this patent to make anything. if not then they are basically squatting on it and of late that is being more and more frowned upon.

I'm really thinking that the rules of war need to be amended so you can only file in the district that one of the parties is actually based in. Cause this running to Texas thing for an easy win is getting old.

Uh, no. Its not an "easy win". When you own a patent, you own a patent. Whether or not you make something out of it that week means absolutely nothing. If someone steals it, you should sue them.

If that someone is Apple or Microsoft, suing is not so easy. It make take some research before you find a judge with a righteous head on his shoulders, who has no problem serving justice where its deserved. Even when that means ruling against multi-billion dollar companies, when they've stolen intellectual property. They do it constantly, so I don't understand how people find this "frivolous". Nothing frivolous about it.
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post

Actually, moving your lawsuit to Marshall says a lot about the deal. It seems that Marshall has set it self up as a place that favors the one suing. Time and again, they find for the patent holder no matter how stupid and how much prior art exists.

That is why companies with weak cases go there vs locally.

Just a thought. PS I live near Marshall, and its a pretty hick town.
en

sorry for the double post. Internet is glitchy today :-)

They should have a special patent court in every state & require the jury to be made up of people from all over the state. The time it would take to get a trial & the fact that a jury is a lot more likely to have tech savvy folks on it would deter a lot of these frivolous suits.
post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Uh, no. Its not an "easy win". When you own a patent, you own a patent. Whether or not you make something out of it that week means absolutely nothing. If someone steals it, you should sue them.

If that someone is Apple or Microsoft, suing is not so easy. It make take some research before you find a judge with a righteous head on his shoulders, who has no problem serving justice where its deserved. Even when that means ruling against multi-billion dollar companies, when they've stolen intellectual property. They do it constantly, so I don't understand how people find this "frivolous". Nothing frivolous about it.

The original intent of a patent was to protect a person's ideas & hard work. The concept of selling those ideas & hard work to me violates the original intent of patents, which was to allow anybody with a good idea & a plan for execution to make something of their dreams without some big company stepping on them.

The real issue I think is that there ought to be a different statute of limitations on the sale of a patent vs in the hands of the original patent holder. These companies are buying up old patents everyone has forgotten about & then they are looking for the closest match on the market with deep pockets that they can go & leech off of. It's pathetic & it's a concept that destroys the very fabric our culture.
post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Uh, no. Its not an "easy win". When you own a patent, you own a patent. Whether or not you make something out of it that week means absolutely nothing. If someone steals it, you should sue them.

If that someone is Apple or Microsoft, suing is not so easy. It make take some research before you find a judge with a righteous head on his shoulders, who has no problem serving justice where its deserved. Even when that means ruling against multi-billion dollar companies, when they've stolen intellectual property. They do it constantly, so I don't understand how people find this "frivolous". Nothing frivolous about it.

The problem is this covers things that were handled in copyrighted software that predates this patent. Timbuktu from the late 1980s immediately comes to mind as does varies long defunct programs that used AppleTalk which were also copyrighter by their various developers. Mind telling me how you can patent something that is part of a copyrighted work?!?
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