Apple hit with streaming media patent infringement suit

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple and its rival Microsoft are both the targets of lawsuits from an Israeli technology group, which has alleged that both companies infringe on patents it owns pertaining to streaming media.



Specifically, the suit takes issue with Apple's HTTP Live Streaming technology, which Emblaze believes infringes on its own media streaming methods that were first introduced in 1998. The company was granted a streaming related patent entitled "Apparatus, method and a computer readable medium for generating media packets" on Oct. 6, 2009.



"(The) patent is infringed by Apple's HTTP Live Streaming Application intended for use in Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices as well as in Apple's Mac OS X Snow Leopard operating system. The notice to Apple also offered a license under Emblaze's technology," a company statement reads.



Apple debuted the HTTP Live Streaming standard in iPhone 3.0 in 2009. The Cupertino, Calif., company has provided the QuickTime Streaming Server for the last decade, but that format has run into issues as it is often blocked by firewalls. But the new HTTP streaming technology allows simple real-time streaming of content and can offer multiple versions of clips in different formats which could automatically switch based on bandwidth availability.



The company has also investigated new streaming technology that would make compression in video files less visible to the human eye. Such technology could mask artifacting that often appears when video file sizes are reduced.



The Emblaze suit also targets Microsoft's IIS Smooth Streaming technology, which is employed in Silverlight, its Web-based competitor to Adobe Flash. Emblaze says its "Live Streaming" technology allows users to send live or pre-recorded audio and video to other devices. The technology allegedly conserves data, does not require a devoted server, and allows reliable streaming through firewalls.



"Emblaze has made substantial investment into research and development to build a rich portfolio of intellectual property over many years. While we are happy to license our technology to third parties, we will vigorously defend our rights and our competitive position," said Naftali Shani, chairman of Emblaze.



As a major corporation, Apple is unsurprisingly bombarded with lawsuits. Last October, the company noted that it was then defending itself from more than 47 patent infringement cases, 27 of which were filed during the fiscal year. The company said that responding to claims, regardless of merit, consumes "significant time and expense."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    Quote:

    As a major corporation, Apple is unsurprisingly bombarded with lawsuits. Last October, the company noted that it was then defending itself from more than 47 patent infringement cases, 27 of which were filed during the fiscal year. The company said that responding to claims, regardless of merit, consumes "significant time and expense."





    It seems the tactic of going ahead and trampling on others patents, seeing who has the ability to respond, is the only way to go for Apple.



    I'm guessing if Apple went crawling to every patent owner, they would get wind of the new device Apple is making or ask exuberant amounts of royalties, or in the case of Nokia, demanding shared access so they can simply copy Apple's innovation and snuff them out of the marketplace.



    Unfortunately these lawsuits means maintaining the high prices for Apple products, resulting in less sales.



    So it's dammed if you do and dammed if you don't. Just one method is less damming than the other.





    Also another thing I've noticed, Steve Jobs has a lot of creative drive, the drive to create change is poised with risks, risks he is willing to take apparently. I think Apple will very hard pressed to find anyone to fill his shoes and take such risks to bring such profits.
  • Reply 2 of 57
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    It seems the tactic of going ahead and trampling on others patents, seeing who has the ability to respond, is the only way to go for Apple.



    I'm guessing if Apple went crawling to every patent owner, they would get wind of the new device Apple is making or ask exuberant amounts of royalties, or in the case of Nokia, demanding shared access so they can simply copy Apple's innovation and snuff them out of the marketplace.



    Unfortunately these lawsuits means maintaining the high prices for Apple products, resulting in less sales.



    So it's dammed if you do and dammed if you don't. Just one method is less damming than the other.





    Also another thing I've noticed, Steve Jobs has a lot of creative drive, the drive to create change is poised with risks, risks he is willing to take apparently. I think Apple will very hard pressed to find anyone to fill his shoes and take such risks to bring such profits.



    You didn't read the article, MS was sued along with Apple.
  • Reply 3 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    You didn't read the article, MS was sued along with Apple.





    Yes I did and Microsoft doesn't matter, very few lawsuits are won against Microsoft.



    If Apple could combine their suit with Microsoft's as co-defendants, Apple has a good chance of totally walking away from this unscathed.
  • Reply 4 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    It seems the tactic of going ahead and trampling on others patents, seeing who has the ability to respond, is the only way to go for Apple.



    I'm guessing if Apple went crawling to every patent owner, they would get wind of the new device Apple is making or ask exuberant amounts of royalties, or in the case of Nokia, demanding shared access so they can simply copy Apple's innovation and snuff them out of the marketplace.



    Unfortunately these lawsuits means maintaining the high prices for Apple products, resulting in less sales.



    So it's dammed if you do and dammed if you don't. Just one method is less damming than the other.





    Also another thing I've noticed, Steve Jobs has a lot of creative drive, the drive to create change is poised with risks, risks he is willing to take apparently. I think Apple will very hard pressed to find anyone to fill his shoes and take such risks to bring such profits.



    Another fail-post by MacTripper.
  • Reply 5 of 57
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Here we go again. Another small fry tries to cash in on the success of larger companies. Patents are funny things. The description of the patent as outlined in the article seems very vague and could be used to target any streaming of data in packets - if Apple stole this technology, they should pay a reasonably license fee - that Apple and Microsoft are both being sued simply reeks of small-fry trying to get rich.
  • Reply 6 of 57
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    Yes I did and Microsoft doesn't matter, very few lawsuits are won against Microsoft.



    If Apple could combine their suit with Microsoft's as co-defendants, Apple has a good chance of totally walking away from this unscathed.



    I don't get you. In your first post you accused Apple on infringing the patent. But in your second post you are saying MS doesn't matter because eventually they will not be found guilty on infringing the same patent?! And what makes you think MS is not guilty and Apple is?



    By the way, MS was found guilty of several patent infringement. There are at least two high profile ones mentioned on the news within the last few months.
  • Reply 7 of 57
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    Yes I did and Microsoft doesn't matter, very few lawsuits are won against Microsoft.



    If Apple could combine their suit with Microsoft's as co-defendants, Apple has a good chance of totally walking away from this unscathed.



    Let's see - Microsoft was forced to remove the XML document format from Office after it lost a patent case a few months ago. Damages are pending in that one. Also last year, MS lost another huge patent case (pending appeal), and is being forced to pay some small company $340 million or something like that.



    You're showing how empty-headed you really are (most of us knew it already.
  • Reply 8 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Another fail-post by MacTripper.





    I think using the User>CP Ignore List is not a substitute for a moderator or a post quality ranking system like what Slashdot uses.



    Anyway folks, that's what we have, unless you like having Quadra trolling you, like he has done others, that's the preemptive choice you have.
  • Reply 9 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    I think using the User>CP Ignore List is not a substitute for a moderator or a post quality ranking system like what Slashdot uses.



    Anyway folks, that's what we have, unless you like having Quadra trolling you, like he has done others, that's the preemptive choice you have.



    Why, are you just all butthurt because you didn't bother to read the article and someone called you on your usual trolling of Apple? You got caught with your pants down this time. Deal with it, LOL.
  • Reply 10 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    I don't get you. In your first post you accused Apple on infringing the patent.



    No, in my first post I responded to the article paragraph that stated Apple is defending itself from more than 47 patent infringement cases.



    Go back and read the post yourself.





    Quote:

    But in your second post you are saying MS doesn't matter because eventually they will not be found guilty on infringing the same patent?! And what makes you think MS is not guilty and Apple is?



    I didn't say Microsoft was innocent in my second post, I said it's just that it's harder to win a suit against them. Suits cost money, time and energy and Microsoft has bigger pockets than Apple does in that regard.



    Quote:

    By the way, MS was found guilty of several patent infringement. There are at least two high profile ones mentioned on the news within the last few months.



    I didn't say they always win, that it's just harder to win against them.
  • Reply 11 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    No, in my first post I responded to the article paragraph that stated Apple is defending itself from more than 47 patent infringement cases.



    Go back and read the post yourself.









    I didn't say Microsoft was innocent in my second post, I said it's just that it's harder to win a suit against them. Suits cost money, time and energy and Microsoft has bigger pockets than Apple does in that regard.







    I didn't say they always win, that it's just harder to win against them.







  • Reply 12 of 57
    People should really do some research before saying things.

    emblaze is not a "small fry".



    They are listed on the London stock exchange and are trading around 44 GBP. They have 600 million in assests and revenue around 400 million. This is a large multinational corporation, not some guy in his garage.
  • Reply 13 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elroth View Post


    Let's see - Microsoft was forced to remove the XML document format from Office after it lost a patent case a few months ago. Damages are pending in that one. Also last year, MS lost another huge patent case (pending appeal), and is being forced to pay some small company $340 million or something like that.





    Microsoft has lost cases sure, it's just harder to win against them.



    My point was that it seems that companies like Apple just don't have much choice but to tramp on others patents and wait for the fallout, depending how strong the other party is in defending their patents in court.



    If Apple goes and tries to license, it gives away their new product advantage to the competition.
  • Reply 14 of 57
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    Its going to get harder and harder to innovate in the future due to the fact that it will be more likely that that a company will infringe on a patent, knowingly or not.



    And Apple is just as much to fault as anyone else.
  • Reply 15 of 57
    This is total BS, and a great example of the problem with software patents.



    I remember Emblaze. I worked with them quite a bit in the mid-late 90s. Their technology at the time was "neat" in a way, but severely lacking for mass usage. They had several products related to audio, video and animation that were easy to use before Flash became dominate and enabled some of this.



    There was a benefit to firewall-proof HTTP streaming, but not that it did a lot of good at the time anyway. The problem with this being a software patent is that it's not exactly rocket science, if you want to get through a firewall, you go through HTTP, and there are only so many ways that present themselves to do this.



    You shouldn't be able to patent the obvious.



    And the real amusing thing here is that when I said it's "not exactly rocket science", I meant that literally. It sort of was actually rocket science. Like most Israeli companies at the time, their technology came from or was the result of military investments by the US government. In other words, US tax dollars (some of which was collected by Microsoft and Apple) were spent on this kind of technology in Israel, and now because of our screwed up patent laws, this company is now years later coming back to the US to collect more money through litigation.
  • Reply 16 of 57
    Another 'junk' lawsuit brought by a 'patent troll'. In order for a company to defend a patent, they a) have to prove they were granted the patent and b) that the defendant's technology knowingly infringes in said patent.



    Being an Israeli company it would be interesting to know if the patent was filed/granted in the US or Israel.
  • Reply 17 of 57
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    No, in my first post I responded to the article paragraph that stated Apple is defending itself from more than 47 patent infringement cases.



    Go back and read the post yourself.



    No you didn't. You expressed your opinion as a fact.



    Quote:

    I didn't say Microsoft was innocent in my second post, I said it's just that it's harder to win a suit against them. Suits cost money, time and energy and Microsoft has bigger pockets than Apple does in that regard.



    Again, you stated an opinion as a fact. MS and Apple will most likely join forces in this case because if one was found guilty then the other will either have to settle (pay fees) or face the same result. It is best for both to join forces.



    Quote:

    I didn't say they always win, that it's just harder to win against them.



    Not true. As said before, MS was found guilty in two cases last year.



    If you want to prove your point I suggest you back it up with facts like telling us which patent lawsuits Apple lost compared to MS.
  • Reply 18 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Another fail-post by MacTripper.



    Another flame-post by Quadra 610.
  • Reply 19 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    I don't get you. In your first post you accused Apple on infringing the patent. But in your second post you are saying MS doesn't matter because eventually they will not be found guilty on infringing the same patent?! And what makes you think MS is not guilty and Apple is?



    By the way, MS was found guilty of several patent infringement. There are at least two high profile ones mentioned on the news within the last few months.



    How about the big one, Bill Gates intentionally stole DOS & re-labled it MS-DOS. He also stole the UI design that became part of Windows. Come to think of it, M$ was pretty much founded on theft of intellectual property.



    Apple on the other hand files patents for the technologies they release, but like many companies they can't wait around to be awarded a patent before they can use it, if they did it would be like 2020 before the iPad would have been released. You can see this even in common household products, many of them will contain a label on the product saying "patent pending" with a filed patent number.



    It isn't Apple's fault that they "may" have infringed on this patent, what we really need is some serious patent reform. Bill Gates on the other hand knowingly infringed on some of the patents he's stolen over the years.
  • Reply 20 of 57
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Why, are you just all butthurt ... your usual trolling ... caught with your pants down this time.



    Posters who use vulgar insults should be banned from this forum. They ruin it for the rest of us.
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