Thursday, March 13, 2008

Apple sued for patent infringement

From the Washington Post:

"Apple Inc. was sued Wednesday over allegations its iTunes online music store and iPod music players are illegally using a patented method for distributing digital media over the Internet.

Atlanta-based ZapMedia Services Inc. sued Apple in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, accusing the Cupertino-based company of violating two ZapMedia patents...

The patents in question cover a way of sending music and other digital content from servers to multiple media players, a broad description that could also apply to a wide swath of other companies selling digital media and the devices to play it."

Parallels there with the Blackboard v Desire2Learn case but impossible to tell without having more details. Blackboard, a Washington DC company were recently awarded damages against Desire2Learn, an Ontario company, by a Texas jury.

In addition, given that Acacia has successfully enforced patents through the courts in the same ballpark, the Zapmedia folks might well find themselves on the receiving end of lawyerly letters from that general direction, expecially if they succeed in the Apple suit. In fact Acacia reportedly sued Apple over iTunes just last month.

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