Apple sued over foundations to iPod + iTunes franchise

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  • Reply 21 of 43
    alienzedalienzed Posts: 393member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ZapMedia Services, Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc., claiming to have conceived the underlying principles of the iPod + iTunes franchise a full two years before the first iPod went on sale.



    The patent infringement suit, filed Wednesday in the Marshall Division of Texas friendly to patent litigation, comes 18 months after the little-known company, acting on behalf of the now defunct ZapMedia Inc., unsuccessfully began shopping for a buyer of its tiny portfolio with the help of Atlanta-based intellectual property firm Lava Group Inc.



    That portfolio had long consisted of just a single patent (No. 7,020,704) titled "System and method for distributing media assets to user devices via a portal synchronized by said user devices." However, on Tuesday the United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded ZapMedia with the rights to a second, similarly titled patent (No. 7,343,414) having an increased focus on digital rights management (DRM).



    Both patents describe a content distribution and media asset management system, which when taken at face value appears similar to online distributions systems like Apple's iTunes Store and rival offerings such as Vongo and MovieLink. In addition, the filings include what may be perceived as the foundations to a DRM platform.



    In its suit Wednesday, ZapMedia claims that after filing for its first patent in October of 2000, it met with several major technology and media companies around the world, including Apple, describing its vision in great detail.



    "Without asking ZapMedia for permission, Apple subsequently unveiled its own system," the company said. "Apple announced its iPod MP3 player with an integrated iTunes software application in October of 2001 and its iTunes store in April 2003."



    After having been granted its first patent in March of 2006, ZapMedia between June 2006 the fall of 2007 again entertained dialog with Apple, offering to license that patent to the company to no avail.



    Illustrations included in ZapMedia's filings.



    "When someone takes our vision and our intellectual property without a license after several attempts, we have no option but to protect it through every means available to us," Robert J. Frohwein, general counsel of ZapMedia Services, said in a statement.



    ZapMedia is now seeking unspecified damages.



    I should patent 'eating'. 0_o
  • Reply 22 of 43
    we need a page that lists EVERY lawsuit ever that apples been in with the results of each case marked as either a won, a loss, or settled out of court.
  • Reply 23 of 43
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Caribou Killa View Post


    we need a page that lists EVERY lawsuit ever that apples been in with the results of each case marked as either a won, a loss, or settled out of court.



    Make a Wikipedia page.
  • Reply 24 of 43
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 717member
    Far too broad and general. This falls under "I wish we could go travel through time" and "if only my breasts were larger" ponderings.



    It's the company that plods through the million details and unkown barriers that gets the rewards. That would be Apple. These guys should be punished for attempted extortion of Apple's profits.
  • Reply 25 of 43
    wheelhotwheelhot Posts: 465member
    Another utter crap, iTunes has been around for quite a long time and it took them almost a decade to realise this. And aint it a coincidence just when iTunes start gaining a lot of money this patent infringement appear?



    I guess they just wanted some money from Apple.



    Besides, aint the internet work like how its shown in that picture?
  • Reply 26 of 43
    We are in desperate need of patent reform in this country. When a truly original idea is born, it should be protected. But things like this, this was the next step, a natural evolution or progression, bound to happen. Indeed the media devices are little more than mini computers themselves, and iTunes then is just user friendly networking, networking has been around much longer than these ZapMedia folks.



    I hope Apple crushes them.
  • Reply 27 of 43
    Interesting how the Patent application has reference to PC & "Mac" I wonder if they used "Mac" with Apple's permission during the patent filing?
  • Reply 28 of 43
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,742member
    "System and method for distributing media assets to user devices via a portal synchronized by said user devices."



    Didn't I see this done in one (or more) TV episodes of Star Trek, during the 60's?
  • Reply 29 of 43
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,742member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    I hope these guys win. They deserve it especially after screwing its stockholders with backdating options.



    I hate patent trolls, and this case doesn't help.



    I guess you are not or never have been an AAPL share holder. Otherwise you would know that no AAPL share holder ever been "screwed" because of any improperly accounted for back dated options at Apple. AAPl went from a market cap of about 3 billion dollars to over 100 billion dollars from 1997 to 2007. The period which included all back dated options, eventual correction of all past financial statements and payment of fines to SEC and IRS. AAPL went from a low of $5.00 to a high of over $90.00 in this period. Even if you were to buy AAPL stock the day before AAPL plunged 50% in Oct of 2000, you would be up over 1000% today. So you are wrong about AAPL share holders getting "screwed". Who might have gotten "screwed" were the people shorting AAPL during this period. Because if Apple would have reported the back dated options as an expense like they were suppose to, then there might have been a chance that Apple would miss estimate during one of these quarters and the stock would have taken a dived. But shorts are not considered investers and thus can not sue Apple. If anybody is "screwing" AAPL share holders its' lawyers like Spitzer (speaking of screwing haha) who would have share holders believe that they got "screwed" by Apple. And thus wants to sue Apple on their behalf. Their thinking is that since Apple got to "screwed" you, its' now our turn. But from an AAPL share holder point of view, every penny spent on those back dated options was well spent. If only M. Dell would have spent his company money as wisely. Then he wouldn't be the clown he is today for making that statement about selling Apple and giving the money back to its' share holders.



    Your sediment about patent trolls is correct.
  • Reply 30 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alienzed View Post


    I should patent 'eating'. 0_o



    It would work better by being ambiguous, while being very specific

    at least thats how the IP lawyers do it...



    for example.

    "a means to deliver a substance, whether said substance is in a solid or liquid state, from an opening in an oral region of an animal like creature to a reservoir area where said substance is to be broken down through a means of a chemical bath(reference patent # 97351972). From said reservoir area, the said substance is transported through a series of tunnels where more chemicals are incorporated in a process to further break down said substance. When said substance reaches the end of said tunnel, the substance is then disposed of"



    now you owe me money for eating
  • Reply 31 of 43
    wheelhotwheelhot Posts: 465member
    Quote:

    "a means to deliver a substance, whether said substance is in a solid or liquid state, from an opening in an oral region of an animal like creature to a reservoir area where said substance is to be broken down through a means of a chemical bath(reference patent # 97351972). From said reservoir area, the said substance is transported through a series of tunnels where more chemicals are incorporated in a process to further break down said substance. When said substance reaches the end of said tunnel, the substance is then disposed of"



    Wow, you'll be the world richest man in a couple of years .
  • Reply 32 of 43
    straskstrask Posts: 107member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post


    I was about to write what would have probably turned into a long post about how silly it is to claim you had an idea first -- even though you never managed to do anything about it -- but I think you really captured my entire sentiment in that one sentence.



    You should sue him.
  • Reply 33 of 43
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    And yet another defense is arguing that it wasn't even patentable. Did they patent a certain technology or technique? Did they say how they were going to do it? Is this really a patentable thing, or just a business idea?



    If I have the notion that sometime in the next 10 years we will have figured out a way to make holographic media common, I could file a patent for the "Electronic sales and dissemination of 3 dimensional images and motion pictures to a local display device." Then I send a few e-mails to a bunch of tech companies promoting my idea. Now I wait until someone has established a thriving business and file a lawsuit...



    Patent law is not quite so black and white. In principle, US patent law requires that an invention be reduced to practice. In reality, I know of quite a few valid, issued patents which were not actually reduced to practice, but were defined precisely enough to amount to the same thing. Essentially, the inventor was able to show on paper in detail how they would accomplish the invention. What you're suggesting doesn't come close to showing the invention to have actually occurred.



    One could argue for going back to a fundamental principle of requiring an actual working device before issuing a patent and that would solve many of the problems. It would also prevent some valid patents from being issued, however.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post


    So whatever happened to the concept that you can't simply patent an idea? They may have talked to Apple, but what, in fact, did they have to license other than what appears to be a back-of-the-envelope sketch connecting a few servers and devices? Any technology? Any software? Anything at all?



    You can patent the implementation of an idea. One could argue that their patent demonstrates the implementation and is therefore patentable. Whether it's novel is a different story. One could further argue that the patent is too broad, as well.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post


    Far too broad and general. This falls under "I wish we could go travel through time" and "if only my breasts were larger" ponderings.



    It's the company that plods through the million details and unkown barriers that gets the rewards. That would be Apple. These guys should be punished for attempted extortion of Apple's profits.



    There is nothing in patent law which requires the inventor to commercialize a design to win a patent - nor, IMHO, should there be. If you do that, it will be impossible for a creative individual to get a patent and then license it to a larger company. Patent law is set up to reward the inventor, not the company which commercializes. The latter presumably gets rewarded sufficiently by selling the product.
  • Reply 34 of 43
    nceencee Posts: 857member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Patent law is not quite so black and white. In principle, US patent law requires that an invention be reduced to practice. In reality, I know of quite a few valid, issued patents which were not actually reduced to practice, but were defined precisely enough to amount to the same thing. Essentially, the inventor was able to show on paper in detail how they would accomplish the invention. What you're suggesting doesn't come close to showing the invention to have actually occurred.



    One could argue for going back to a fundamental principle of requiring an actual working device before issuing a patent and that would solve many of the problems. It would also prevent some valid patents from being issued, however.







    You can patent the implementation of an idea. One could argue that their patent demonstrates the implementation and is therefore patentable. Whether it's novel is a different story. One could further argue that the patent is too broad, as well.





    There is nothing in patent law which requires the inventor to commercialize a design to win a patent - nor, IMHO, should there be. If you do that, it will be impossible for a creative individual to get a patent and then license it to a larger company. Patent law is set up to reward the inventor, not the company which commercializes. The latter presumably gets rewarded sufficiently by selling the product.



    This is all nice, but there has to be a way, to say "Make it or loose the patent"



    - Make it, or sell the idea within (X) days, months or years



    I mean, if the patent laws don't start work on these types of issues, we will end up paying for this for years to come.



    I guess what makes me mad, is not knowing when I'm going to be sued or what for. I mean I eat, think and breathe, there's at least 3 things I can be sued for, and I've been doing these for a number of years (Can I be sued for all of the years I've been doing them)?



    I walk, talk, smile, wave and so many other things, that it concerns me - when am I going to have to pay for all of this



    Skip
  • Reply 35 of 43
    techboytechboy Posts: 183member
    How many lawsuits similar to this has been thrown out the window against Apple? There is a big difference between making and producing a product and drawing down concepts/ideas but NOT ABLE to put it to work in the real world.





    Quote:

    In its suit Wednesday, ZapMedia claims that after filing for its first patent in October of 2000, it met with several major technology and media companies around the world, including Apple, describing its vision in great detail.



    "Without asking ZapMedia for permission, Apple subsequently unveiled its own system," the company said. "Apple announced its iPod MP3 player with an integrated iTunes software application in October of 2001 and its iTunes store in April 2003."



    These people ALWAYS assume ONLY they have the concept/idea because it's patented! No one else can developed a similar concept at a different part of the world.... with such single-minded vision no wonder they can't create the product themselves.



    Case close!
  • Reply 36 of 43
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,523member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jpellino View Post


    Look at the complete filing. They could just as well claim against Amazon, Real, eMusic (whose original incarnation predates this and includes selling digital audio players as well as online media), you name it. In the first filing, they seem to want to patent a PC as well as a generic media player.



    It's amazing this got approved.



    That I think is the crux of the problem. It was too vague to have ever been approved.
  • Reply 37 of 43
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ncee View Post


    This is all nice, but there has to be a way, to say "Make it or loose the patent"



    - Make it, or sell the idea within (X) days, months or years



    I mean, if the patent laws don't start work on these types of issues, we will end up paying for this for years to come.



    I guess what makes me mad, is not knowing when I'm going to be sued or what for. I mean I eat, think and breathe, there's at least 3 things I can be sued for, and I've been doing these for a number of years (Can I be sued for all of the years I've been doing them)?



    I walk, talk, smile, wave and so many other things, that it concerns me - when am I going to have to pay for all of this



    Skip



    Stupid examples don't help the issue. (If you want to be technical, prior art would preclude obtaining a patent on breathing, eating, and drinking).



    I don't think that requiring an invention to be commercialized should be a requirement. The patent system was set up to reward inventors for coming up with new ideas and reducing them to practice. The free market is designed to reward people for commercializing new products. I don't want to confuse the two.



    There is still a place for a private inventor coming up with a new idea, reducing it to practice, and patenting it - and then not commercializing it themselves. If they have truly created something new, they have every right to sit on it until they find someone willing to pay their price.



    I could argue that the patent office should go back to requiring that something actually be reduced to practice, but insisting on commercialization would be going to far. By that standard, the patent for the laser, integrated circuit, and many other key inventions would not have been patentable since it took many years before they reached the stage where they could be commercialized.
  • Reply 38 of 43
    The patent clearly describes a subscription service, which iTunes+iPod is not. I download music and video, yes, but then I store it on my computer or iPod and -- critically important -- I then no longer require the server. That's not even close to what this patent describes.



    Case closed... or at least it would be in any nation with sane patent law, which unfortunately doesn't include the US. Enjoy the fruits of your screwed-up system.
  • Reply 39 of 43
    Can anybody tell me: Did I wake up in 2001 again? Crap!



    Oh, well. At least I can file my lawsuit against whoever holds the patent to VOIP. I mean, come on; I developed the first concept of a device that sends voice-like sounds via PC&MAC over RS232 back in 1985. I wanted to call it "VOICEmail®" but some cretin stole that from me, too!



    What is with this, anyway? If these numbnutz took SEVEN YEARS to challenge this, why would anybody even read the second sentence of the challenge petition?
  • Reply 40 of 43
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,167member
    It seems to me that those guys patent include an email if you use it to send a media file!
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