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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
  • Reply 2 of 53
    Apple is SOOOOO original!



    Let's face it, Apple = Monsanto
  • Reply 3 of 53
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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?
  • Reply 4 of 53
    nobodyynobodyy Posts: 377member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 53
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,972member
    They won $8 million the first time arround...I wonder how much it cost them in lawyers fees?
  • Reply 6 of 53
    djintxdjintx Posts: 454member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 53
    djintxdjintx Posts: 454member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 53
    nairbnairb Posts: 253member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 53
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    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?!
  • Reply 10 of 53
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 53
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 53
    xsuxsu Posts: 401member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 53
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 53
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    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?
  • Reply 15 of 53
    jcgarzajcgarza Posts: 8member
    What did they 'invent' exactly that Apple 'copied'?
  • Reply 16 of 53
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 53
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 53
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    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?
  • Reply 19 of 53
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 53
    djintxdjintx Posts: 454member
    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.
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