or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › After $8M victory, Personal Audio sues Apple again over same patent
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

After $8M victory, Personal Audio sues Apple again over same patent

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Less than two weeks after Personal Audio won an $8 million decision against Apple, the company has once again sued the iPod maker over the exact same patent, but in a complaint that targets new devices.

Filed this week in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, Personal Audio's latest legal action specifically cites the sixth-generation iPod nano, fourth-generation iPod shuffle, fourth-generation iPod touch, iPhone 4 and iPad 2. As in its previous complaint, the patent holder is accusing Apple of violating a patent related to music playlists.

Personal Audio first sued Apple in 2009, asking for $84 million in damages. Earlier this month, a jury found that the patents were indeed infringed upon by Apple, and ordered the Cupertino, Calif., company to pay $8 million.

The previous suit cited two patents, but the latest complaint filed this week brings back one of the inventions cited in the first lawsuit: U.S. Patent No. 6,199,076, entitled "Audio Program Player Including a Dynamic Program Selection Controller."

But the previous complaint, Personal Audio argues in its new lawsuit, exclusively covered the iPod classic, iPod mini, iPod nano generations one through five, first-generation iPad, and original iPhone through iPhone 3GS.

Apple has attempted to argue that the jury decision represents all products, regardless of whether they were named in the original suit. But Personal Audio believes it is entitled to seek even more damages from Apple for its alleged infringement.

"The jury instructions given by the Court specifically instructed the jury to disregard any evidence that Personal Audio was entitled to damages relating to products not accused in that litigation," the complaint reads.

"Furthermore, the verdict form instructed the jury to award damages only for the conduct the jury found to infringe. Consequently, the damages award issued by the jury on July 8, 2011, does not cover any other products."



The jury award handed out earlier this month, on July 8, was followed up with the latest lawsuit filed just 12 days later, on July 20. The products named in the new suit were not even unveiled when the original complaint was lodged in 2009.

Patent lawsuits have become a common occurrence in Apple's business, as the company is frequently challenged in court. Just last week AppleInsider discovered that Apple is looking to bolster its legal team with new patent experts as intellectual property complaints continue to mount.
post #2 of 54

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #3 of 54
Apple is SOOOOO original!

Let's face it, Apple = Monsanto
post #4 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoebetech View Post

Apple is SOOOOO original!

Let's face it, Apple = Monsanto

Didn't someone else copy/paste this a lot recently? What, was he banned and you're picking up for him?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #5 of 54
They won't win this one. Apple isn't going to fight it in court.
Chances are Apple is going just settle out of court and start paying the fees to license the patent (unless they're too high, in which case Apple will file an unfair practices suit against them).

I personally think that this patent is very very broad so it sucks that Apple (and anyone else licensing) is suck in this infinite loop.
post #6 of 54
They won $8 million the first time arround...I wonder how much it cost them in lawyers fees?
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
Reply
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
Reply
post #7 of 54
So they were fortunate enough for a court to agree with them about infringement, then decided to throw up another suit for a slightly different product? Seems like this should hinge on and be attached to the concept, not a specific product. Shouldn't they have to cover this all in the same suit?

If not, then why not spread it out...this week sue for the 16 GB iPod touch, next week the iPhone 4, then the iPad 32Gb verizon+wifi model. I mean with all of Apple's differing product line-up, if they do this right they can sue for each and every product one after the other and be on Apple's virtual payroll.

This is some ridiculous BS.
post #8 of 54
So if Ford were taken to court for faulty fuel injectors across all of their models...could they be taken to court individually for each vehicle model? This just seems wrong and frivolous.
post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

So if Ford were taken to court for faulty fuel injectors across all of their models...could they be taken to court individually for each vehicle model? This just seems wrong and frivolous.

"Furthermore, the verdict form instructed the jury to award damages only for the conduct the jury found to infringe. Consequently, the damages award issued by the jury on July 8, 2011, does not cover any other products."

Original was not for all devices. I agree that this will be settled out of court - it is not as if this is a significant loss for apple in dollar terms.
post #10 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoebetech View Post

Apple is SOOOOO original!

Let's face it, Apple = Monsanto

You do know Einstein's explanation about insanity... right?!
na na na na na...
Reply
na na na na na...
Reply
post #11 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Didn't someone else copy/paste this a lot recently? What, was he banned and you're picking up for him?

He clearly thinks if he repeats something ridiculous often enough people will believe him. Bless.
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

He clearly thinks if he repeats something ridiculous often enough people will believe him. Bless.

Well, it worked for Hitler. At least for a while.

And if the laws of the Internet are correct, I think I just lost that argument. Which is a shame, because he's the one who's wrong.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

They won $8 million the first time arround...I wonder how much it cost them in lawyers fees?

All of it. That's why they want to sue again.
post #14 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

All of it. That's why they want to sue again.

except this time it will be much easier for them to win, because the previous judgement stands.
post #15 of 54
It seems pretty lazy to not have entered all the infringing devices if they felt that each device had to be named specifically. Or maybe clever, depending on the legal situation. Would adding more infringing devices meant that the original case taken much longer than a second case?
post #16 of 54
What did they 'invent' exactly that Apple 'copied'?
post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It seems pretty lazy to not have entered all the infringing devices if they felt that each device had to be named specifically. Or maybe clever, depending on the legal situation. Would adding more infringing devices meant that the original case taken much longer than a second case?

Essentially yes, since they'd have to prove each device was infringing independently. Both they and Apple agreed to defer other devices without prejudice - just to simplify the legal proceedings.
post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcgarza View Post

What did they 'invent' exactly that Apple 'copied'?

Roughly stated having a playlist that can be downloaded from one device to another.

I could be more specific but then I'd have to read the patent again, and then I'd get depressed.
post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Essentially yes, since they'd have to prove each device was infringing independently. Both they and Apple agreed to defer other devices without prejudice - just to simplify the legal proceedings.

Is the standard of proving each device a lot lower once they've previously proved other devices infringed?
post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Is the standard of proving each device a lot lower once they've previously proved other devices infringed?

Not necessarily, but it's harder now for Apple to claim that the patent is invalid. Given how broad the claims are on the patent I don't think infringement is hard for them to prove. Syncing a playlist with iTunes constituted infringement if memory serves. If they established that such syncing constitutes infringement in the previous suit then they now only have to demonstrate that these devices sync in the same way - which is pretty easy.

Unless Apple has dug up some kick-ass prior art in the meantime they'll end up paying here.
post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

"Furthermore, the verdict form instructed the jury to award damages only for the conduct the jury found to infringe. Consequently, the damages award issued by the jury on July 8, 2011, does not cover any other products."

Original was not for all devices. I agree that this will be settled out of court - it is not as if this is a significant loss for apple in dollar terms.

Some things should not be patent-able. The state of patent law in this country (and maybe others) is pretty ridiculous.
post #22 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Some things should not be patent-able. The state of patent law in this country (and maybe others) is pretty ridiculous.

I agree, like much of Apple's portfolio.
post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarchetta View Post

I agree, like much of Apple's portfolio.

Saying "much of Apple's portfolio" suggests a good portion, which I would disagree with. Obviously they come up with a ton of innovative ideas. However, I'm sure they have been awarded some that they shouldn't have, like all other tech companies these days.

I think patents should be granted for hardware design (look, feel, sound), software/code, and innovative concepts (and probably some other things I am not thinking of at the moment). But in this case, patenting the syncing of playlists is silly. Playlists already existed, as did syncing, so no one should be able to patent the syncing of playlists. I mean how many ways are there to do it? Item by item. This is not a stretch or an innovation. It is an obvious progression.
post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoebetech View Post

Apple is SOOOOO original!

Let's face it, Apple = Monsanto

I knew Monsanto, and Apple is no Monsanto.

When Apple emails people copies of their web page and then sues them for copyright infringement for having their web page on their machines, then it will be similar to Monsanto.
post #25 of 54
a commission to the judges and juries in East Texas get from the plaintiffs after a huge award? 5% 10%? Are the juries random or are they simply paid directly by the plaintiffs?
post #26 of 54
Where did this Monsanto crap come from lately? I have never heard of Monsanto until this week, and I still don't know what they are. But for some reason this is now the third or fourth time I have heard them referenced in an Apple-related discussion in the last few days. What the hell?
post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Some things should not be patent-able. The state of patent law in this country (and maybe others) is pretty ridiculous.

What? and Why, specifically? Is it not new, is it not original? Be specific.
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by physguy View Post

What? and Why, specifically? Is it not new, is it not original? Be specific.

See my previous post for specifics. (Post #23)
post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

I think patents should be granted for hardware design (look, feel, sound), software/code, and innovative concepts (and probably some other things I am not thinking of at the moment). But in this case, patenting the syncing of playlists is silly. Playlists already existed, as did syncing, so no one should be able to patent the syncing of playlists. I mean how many ways are there to do it? Item by item. This is not a stretch or an innovation. It is an obvious progression.

Absolutely but it's pretty analogous to '647. Pattern recognition software already existed, so did UIs, markup languages, browsers etc. Putting the two together is obvious.

The problem is that by their very nature the most valuable software patents are the ones that make software developers facepalm. Anything specific enough to be really good is generally fairly easy to innovate around.
post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Saying "much of Apple's portfolio" suggests a good portion, which I would disagree with. Obviously they come up with a ton of innovative ideas. However, I'm sure they have been awarded some that they shouldn't have, like all other tech companies these days.

I think patents should be granted for hardware design (look, feel, sound), software/code, and innovative concepts (and probably some other things I am not thinking of at the moment). But in this case, patenting the syncing of playlists is silly. Playlists already existed, as did syncing, so no one should be able to patent the syncing of playlists. I mean how many ways are there to do it? Item by item. This is not a stretch or an innovation. It is an obvious progression.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

See my previous post for specifics. (Post #23)

Everything is obvious in hindsight. What they claimed was more than just playlists and syncing.

Quote:
The first, main claim

1. A player for reproducing selected audio program segments comprising, in combination:

means for storing a plurality of program segments, each of said program segments having a beginning and an end,

means for receiving and storing a file of data establishing a sequence in which said program segments are scheduled to be reproduced by said player,

means for accepting control commands from a user of said player,

means for continuously reproducing said program segments in the order established by said sequence in the absence of a control command,

means for detecting a first command indicative of a request to skip forward, and

means responsive to said first command for discontinuing the reproduction of the currently playing program segment and instead continuing the reproduction at the beginning of a program segment which follows said currently playing program in said sequence.

It was all of that, in 2001. IMO that is not blatantly obvious at the time. The obvious argument is hard to judge. Look at the case behind the movie 'Flash of Genius'. The arguments made by Ford were basically obviousness give a transistor and a delay circuit and the need for intermittent wipers it was 'obvious' .
post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Where did this Monsanto crap come from lately? I have never heard of Monsanto until this week, and I still don't know what they are. But for some reason this is now the third or fourth time I have heard them referenced in an Apple-related discussion in the last few days. What the hell?

Some guy has made it his life's work to keep repeating the meme in the hope that we're stupid enough to believe him. I'm gonna start flagging for ban whenever I see it soon because it's so unbelievably dumb.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto
post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by physguy View Post

Everything is obvious in hindsight. What they claimed was more than just playlists and syncing.



It was all of that, in 2001. IMO that is not blatantly obvious at the time. The obvious argument is hard to judge. Look at the case behind the movie 'Flash of Genius'. The arguments made by Ford were basically obviousness give a transistor and a delay circuit and the need for intermittent wipers it was 'obvious' .

So basically you believe that had this company not patented this process and then brought it to market that other companies would not have thought of it? Or do you think that other companies would have thought of it but this company get credit for being first?

To me, a patent should be for something that no one would have done without the first company doing it. But the patent system seems to be more about which company called dibbs faster on the front seat. If the majority of decent to good tech companies will come up with the same thing or something very similar on their own, then perhaps it should not be patent-able. How you judge this is the problem I suppose. It just seems like patents are given for very vague and very broad ideas. Maybe I should patent the internet before someone beats me to it.
post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

You do know Einstein's explanation about insanity... right?!

People on this board thought I was crazy when I spoke about Apple taking Itunes to the cloud and now many are welcoming it....look at my old posts.

Remember, many thought Einstein was insane (and many still do)....so it really depends on who you talk to!
post #34 of 54
Quote:
What they claimed was more than just playlists and syncing.

Not really. Consider a personal CD player.

Quote:
A player for reproducing selected audio program segments comprising, in combination:

means for storing a plurality of program segments, each of said program segments having a beginning and an end,

We have a set of tracks on the CD, check.
Quote:
means for receiving and storing a file of data establishing a sequence in which said program segments are scheduled to be reproduced by said player,

We have a playlist but the CD player can't modify it or receive a new one.

Quote:
means for accepting control commands from a user of said player,

we have buttons.
Quote:
means for continuously reproducing said program segments in the order established by said sequence in the absence of a control command,

We have a play button.

Quote:
means for detecting a first command indicative of a request to skip forward, and

We have a forward track button

Quote:
means responsive to said first command for discontinuing the reproduction of the currently playing program segment and instead continuing the reproduction at the beginning of a program segment which follows said currently playing program in said sequence.

The forward track button causes us to skip to the next track.

So yes, all the patent covers that is new is a modifiable storable playlist. The rest of the patent just describes any music player, in such a way that one can't possibly use a playlist on a music player without violating the patent.

Did playlists exist before 2001? I'm sure musicmatch had them. XMMS had them. In fact I strongly suspect that musicmatch completely covers claim 1.
post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Not really. Consider a personal CD player.


We have a set of tracks on the CD, check.

We have a playlist but the CD player can't modify it or receive a new one.


we have buttons.
We have a play button.
We have a forward track button
The forward track button causes us to skip to the next track.

So yes, all the patent covers that is new is a modifiable storable playlist. The rest of the patent just describes any music player, in such a way that one can't possibly use a playlist on a music player without violating the patent.

Did playlists exist before 2001? I'm sure musicmatch had them. XMMS had them. In fact I strongly suspect that musicmatch completely covers claim 1.

Excellent post, Sir! Kudos for noticing this parallel. And this leads into another issue I have with patents in that they write them in a confusing manner, much like the tax code, so that they are hard to even decipher sometimes. I am a fairly intelligent person, but I didn't make the same connections as you in relation to CD/music players. They want to keep it confusing apparently.
post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

And this leads into another issue I have with patents in that they write them in a confusing manner, much like the tax code, so that they are hard to even decipher sometimes. I am a fairly intelligent person, but I didn't make the same connections as you in relation to CD/music players. They want to keep it confusing apparently.

They're certainly written in a very particular way, it's probably not confusing if you're a patent lawyer though
post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

They're certainly written in a very particular way, it's probably not confusing if you're a patent lawyer though

Agreed.
post #38 of 54
Buy the pricks out, and then fire their asses!

Of course, with the kind of money they'd have after being bought, they wouldn't care. But one less troll for Apple and others to have to deal with. Of course, then Apple could start suing or collecting royalties boy this is confusing.


Skip
post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Agreed.

One thing that they could really tighten up is the whole 'leave your patent to be infringed for a decade and then swoop' business.

If these guys had contested the patent back in 2001 or 2002 they could have been wiped out in no time because prior art would have been easy to find and there would be plenty of people around able to convincingly explain why this patent was neither novel nor non-obvious.

10 years later it's far harder - a lot of prior art is lost, the context is lost and it's easy for people to imagine 'it wasn't obvious back then!'.
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncee View Post

Buy the pricks out, and then fire their asses!

Of course, with the kind of money they'd have after being bought, they wouldn't care. But one less troll for Apple and others to have to deal with. Of course, then Apple could start suing or collecting royalties … boy this is confusing.


Skip

They're not publicly traded, Apple can't buy em unless they want to be sold.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › After $8M victory, Personal Audio sues Apple again over same patent