Apple, Samsung, Sandisk sued over MP3 patent

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple Inc. is among a handful of digital music player manufacturers that are being sued by a little-known Texas firm for infringement on an MP3-related patent.



The suit, according to InfoWorld, was filed on Feb. 16 in Marshall, Texas -- an eastern Texas city emerging as a favorite amongst plaintiffs in patent infringement lawsuits due to its speedy trials and favorable rulings.



In the complaint, Texas MP3 Technologies alleges that Apple, Samsung, and Sandisk are infringing on U.S. patent 7,065,417, which was awarded in June 2006 to former iPod chip-maker SigmaTel and covers "an MPEG portable sound reproducing system and a method for reproducing sound data compressed using the MPEG method."



It's reported that SigmaTel flipped the patent to a Dallas, Texas-based patent licensing agency shortly after receiving rights because it felt the agency was better served to capitalize on its value potential.



"Because these are such basic patents to digital music, we believe it will be difficult to design around these patents and have a commercially viable player," SigmaTel said in a statement at the time.



InfoWorld notes that it is unclear whether Texas MP3 Technologies is the Dallas-based company that bought the patents from SigmaTel or whether it acquired them from somewhere else.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    And so it begins...



    Wow, if Apple didn't have to fight a new lawsuit every three days, just imagine where all that extra money could go.



    If I'm reading this correctly, they're suing because of the decoding chip / method? Who knows, but would it be safe to say if SigmaTel was the chip-maker, and they got bought out, that any patent agreements would go with the sale? Also, if SigmaTel is no longer the iPod chip maker, then why in the hell would they be suing in the first place.



    Oh man ... it's only Monday
  • Reply 2 of 41
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    And I just got through reading the older one.



    Sebastian
  • Reply 3 of 41
    We should start a new website This Week in Apple Lawsuits
  • Reply 4 of 41
    Good god. It looks like someone is out to make a quick and easy buck. ?



    If SigmaTel was the former provider of iPod chips, then all is well until the end of Tel,

    when everything belongs to someone else and all might go to hell.



    I'm rhyming, a sure sign of sleep deprivation.



    Would they sue for recent abuse or is this a blanket suit for all damages evaaa?
  • Reply 5 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post


    We should start a new website This Week in Apple Lawsuits







    The upkeep would likely require a full-time staff at the rate we're moving right now.
  • Reply 6 of 41
    "Intellectual property" is an evil invention of the state, designed to aid in the subjugation of the common man. It is time to repeal copyright and patent law.
  • Reply 7 of 41
    Actually, after reading the patent claims this may have a lot of legs. If I read this correctly the patent has a priority date of 1997!!! and the first independent claim describes an MP3 player very well. Read the patent.



    7,065,417
  • Reply 8 of 41
    Gah...



    MP3 playing ... ON A PORTABLE DEVICE.



    I hate these patents, they're worthless. The portable devices in questions are computers, so there should be no distinction between the patents for MP3 (which Apple has licensed, Lucent issue notwithstanding) playing back on a computer or on a portable device.



    The major worthless patent areas:



    X ... via [a standard] wireless [protocol]

    X ... on a portable device

    X ... online [using a standard protocol]



    i.e., take a standard patent, and find a standard mechanism, and merge the two, and create a new patent. Worthless to society, and society is what allows the mechanism of patents in the first place.
  • Reply 9 of 41
    This pattent was filed in 2002, prior to that there were the iPod (2001) and other music players.



    You would think that the fact that there were devices that performed that function prior to the filling would have something to do with this.

    Inventors: Moon; Kwang-su (Seoul, KR), Hwang; Jung-ha (Seoul, KR)

    Assignee: SigmaTel, Inc. (Austin, TX)



    Appl. No.: 10/059,777

    Filed: January 29, 2002



    Clearly states January 29, 2002, why does it backdates to 1997????

  • Reply 10 of 41
    wircwirc Posts: 302member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wtfk View Post


    "Intellectual property" is an evil invention of the state, designed to aid in the subjugation of the common man. It is time to repeal copyright and patent law.



    Patents and copyrights are designed to help the common man - or at least the small companies. Copyrights keep authors and artists fed. What we need an end to is frivolous, general patents and copyrights, especially gene patents.
  • Reply 11 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EagerDragon View Post


    This pattent was filed in 2002, prior to that there were the iPod (2001) and other music players.



    You would think that the fact that there were devices that performed that function prior to the filling would have something to do with this.

    Inventors: Moon; Kwang-su (Seoul, KR), Hwang; Jung-ha (Seoul, KR)

    Assignee: SigmaTel, Inc. (Austin, TX)



    Appl. No.: 10/059,777

    Filed: January 29, 2002



    Clearly states January 29, 2002, why does it backdates to 1997????





    Because there were foreign (to the U.S.) filings that seem to establish a priority date of Nov. 24, 1997
  • Reply 12 of 41
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    What amazes me even more is that people still encode with the MP3 format
  • Reply 13 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by physguy View Post


    Because there were foreign (to the U.S.) filings that seem to establish a priority date of Nov. 24, 1997



    Yea but do foreigh fillings have a weight or bearing in the US?

    If they were granted the equivalent of a patent lets say for example in Japan, is that patent and filing recognized in the US?



    The 1997 filling sounds like it was not enforced until now, not sure it is valid, the 2002 filling (took 5 years) to be finaly accepted and they are trying to enforce it now with previous US art in place.



    Not a lawyer, but this does not smell right.

  • Reply 14 of 41
    patents need to be defended soon after either they been granted or soon after a device or invention is determined by the patent holder to be infringing on their patent. To my knowledge, failing to defend the patent vigorously, makes it difficult or imposible to defend far into the future.





    LOL, I could be wrong, failed law school.
  • Reply 15 of 41
    It's all about making a fast buck as far as I'm concerned. These companies are as bad as the tossers who sue the local authorites when their kid falls off a fence they shouldn't be climbing over in the first place.
  • Reply 16 of 41
    Patents are to protect people's intellectual property from theivery.... Their goal in creation was NOT to allow people to hunt down others for coming up with a similar idea... Sadly, a 'fix' frequently breaks other things, take Microsoft for example.... Oh wait... Er... Not a single person could find a vulnerability a month. Joking aside...



    Patents are completely out of hand... I highly doubt Apple just 'copied' Texas MP3 Technologies. Come on... Just because you happen to come up with the idea of playing MP3's on a portable doesn't mean you should be able to lock everyone else out... Let's patent using a wireless stream for music in your car when mobile players start using it for streaming music via a wireless stream as a standard application, then we can get filthy rich. These people are examples of parasites in society.
  • Reply 17 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EruIthildur View Post


    Patents are to protect people's intellectual property from theivery.... Their goal in creation was NOT to allow people to hunt down others for coming up with a similar idea... Sadly, a 'fix' frequently breaks other things, take Microsoft for example.... Oh wait... Er... Not a single person could find a vulnerability a month. Joking aside...



    Patents are completely out of hand... I highly doubt Apple just 'copied' Texas MP3 Technologies. Come on... Just because you happen to come up with the idea of playing MP3's on a portable doesn't mean you should be able to lock everyone else out... Let's patent using a wireless stream for music in your car when mobile players start using it for streaming music via a wireless stream as a standard application, then we can get filthy rich. These people are examples of parasites in society.



    On the other hand, Apple could just as easily have formed 'patent teams' to invent a variety of ingenious ways they could exploit and patent existing, and up and coming technologies for use with Apple devices and Apple's areas of strength. From personal experience, I've seen time and again larger companies (Apple included) who cannot see the forest for the trees on new technologies and their impact on their business. If I were Jobs, I'd make sure individuals and teams of "skunk-works" outside of Apple were up and running. Immediately. It continues to cost Apple a bloody fortune every time they get forced into some kind of licensing agreement or settlement. Tackling the problem at the bottom would be a heck of a lot cheaper.
  • Reply 18 of 41
    BTW: The claims part of a patent is the only part that counts. They got 30 of them.
  • Reply 19 of 41
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I hope that eventually patents take a form more like trademarks. You either use it (or make vlaid attempts to use it) or lose it. Having an idea isn't enough if you can't figure out how to implement/produce it or simply don't want to impose the tme and expense to market it.
  • Reply 20 of 41
    Does Alcatel-Lucent know???



    Maybe they will sue SigmaTel!
Sign In or Register to comment.