AfterDawn: Tech news

iTunes sued for patent infringement

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 21 Jun 2005 12:03 User comments (16)

iTunes sued for patent infringement A Vermont based company Contois Music & Technology is aiming to hit the bucks by sueing Apple over the user interface of the iTunes. According to the source Contois has demonstrated a user interface for music playing software back in Comdex 1995 and music trade show in 1996. The suit says that Apple empoyees were present at the time.
In its suit, Contois said that it gave Apple written notice regarding its patent in September 2004 and also alleges that Apple was aware of the patent at least as early as Jan. 30, 2003.
Specifically, the lawsuit said that Contois owner David Contois showed off his idea for a computer interface for music-playing software at the November 1995 Comdex event and at a music trade show in 1996. The suit charges that people who either then or later became Apple employees attended the event and saw Contois' exhibit.Source:

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16 user comments

121.6.2005 17:03

" David Contois showed off his idea for a computer interface for music-playing software at the November 1995 " May be a little mislead but did he have a working model or just pin up pics. I know patent is allowed for an idea; but in my opinion it's bs. Any idiot can have an idea; should have to make it in my opinion. So if anyone knows did Contois have an actually working model?

221.6.2005 18:11

Glad those monopoly thriving basterds are getting what they deserve, every little bit helps!!!!

321.6.2005 18:59

Punx777- is that you!?!? You know, Panic from 567? Yeah, if anyone has anything about this itunes crap ( which i dont use), just post it. We'll all thank you. Whos Contois Music and Technology?

421.6.2005 22:49

Make them pay. Take all their money, I mean Gates money. I love news like this. Thanks Dela. -Del

522.6.2005 1:08

I think you all are confusing companies here. iTunes is Apple not Microsoft.

622.6.2005 4:39

yeah, but Gates also has to give big bucks to Apple because of the monopoly law suit... that's why he's saying "Gate's money."

722.6.2005 11:45

i live in vermont. i hope this guy wins. i hate apple.

822.6.2005 15:59

lol. only apple haters ever post in apple news. except me. lol. i'm 'breakign the mould'. i'm totally kidding btw. I hate the fact someone can sue over an idea. its stupid. if the guy had a working version fare enough, but its the equivelant of someone thinking of a decive with an engine and wheels that would allow you to get from point A to point B, and them sueing the inventor of the 'auto-mobile' cos they had the idea a week ealier than the person actulaly made the thing. its rediculous. Since there is no original thought, i suggest everyone start sue-ing everyone. Dan x

922.6.2005 16:48

True spooky. If this guy wins over an "Idea and no prototype then I guess I can sue for all the things I thought of but someone else made. I'm going to be a rich man. I still say "take all their money" -Del

1022.6.2005 18:14

I cannot imagine Contois suing unless he had more than an "idea". He'd need to have code written, a working model, something more than an idea before any attorny in his or her right mind would touch a case like this which will probably never see the light of day in court. Then again, who ever said attorneys were in their right mind?

1126.6.2005 7:16

yeah, but Gates also has to give big bucks to Apple because of the monopoly law suit... that's why he's saying "Gate's money."
LOL So, Gates runs a monoploy, gets nailed, and has to pay money to attempt to repair the damage he did......and you guys want to celebrate THAT money being taken away from, essentially, the victim? Damn. Hope you never serve on a Jury..... ;) It's just interesting to me that they are sueing Apple.....but not Musicmatch, Sony Connect, or any of the other companies running a similar business to iTunes. Personally, I hate iTunes.....the program is a huge resource sucking pig that wants to take over. Can't play the songs with anything but iTunes, can only burn a disc using's like buying a car you can only drive on Thursdays. =)

1226.6.2005 11:52

It has been a LOOOOOOONG time since the USPTO required a working model before issuing a patent, so that's moot. And you can't sue just because you had an IDEA a week before someone who built a working model - you can sue if you had a PATENTED idea a week before someone built a working model. "Patent" means "public"; it's a public letter from the gubment saying that you were the first to come up with a spoecific idea, and you have exclusive rights to make money from it for several years (the time varies).

1326.6.2005 13:14

So steve lets say I patent the idea of a time machine that uses Quantum physics. I sit around doing nothing to make it happen. Then one day A scientist does build a working time machine that uses quantum physics. Can I then go and sue the Scientist for all his hard work and effort just because I patented the idea? If the legal answer to this is yes then not only is it stupid but I better start patenting some of my current ideas. Then later when someone does all the work to make it happen I can sue them. This is why you should have a working prototype that does some or all of its intended use. You should only be able to patent the item up to its currently working parts. I am aware that not all countries have the same laws when it comes to a patent. It just common sense that it is retarded to be awarded a patent just for an idea. -Del

1427.6.2005 10:37

"Suing" and "winning" are two different things. You can sue anyone for anything. Winning is another matter altogether. I'm betting they get a few bucks to just go away. Wonder why they didn't sue WinAmp. Or, why they didn't sue before now. iTunes has been out quite a while.

1510.7.2005 2:25

The urge to destroy the successful is a peculiar trait in America. I'm sure Apple gets hit with lawsuits every other week by someone hoping to get rich. Same for every company in this country. After reading a few of the stupifying comments posted no wonder they're all leaving for China. Soon we can all work as mini-mart night clerks because there won't be any decent jobs left. Also Bill Gates/Microsoft didn't give any money to Apple for any lawsuit (file under urban myth). itunes is not a monopoly. And for Apple-haters (those who have gone over to the dark side like most simple minded consumers) Microsoft would be a monopoly if Apple wasn't around. Since I'm a Union guy (Editors Guild Iatse Local 700) intellectual property theft affects me and my family personally (you know, less money taken in, less money to invest in new projects, less work for me - simple economics) With China, Russia, etc stealing us blind (software, technology, DVDs, etc.) plus taking all our basic factory jobs I wonder who's going to be on top in 50 years? Want to be a software programmer? Start brushing up on your Bengali and Hindi and dream of Indian monsoons. The big picture is a hard concept for the multitudes to grapple with as they drive their Hyundai to the local mall to shop for more cheap goods from China, but our once cutting edge is dulling quickly. I find myself siding with innovative companies like Apple because they produce decent products, decent jobs. Well, wash my mouth out and kick my butt. Build something up, rather than tear it down? What a strange idea? In the end, the doers do and the whiners, whine. And this page is certainly a Whinefest.

1610.7.2005 8:53

OK you say it is an urban legend that Microsoft gives or gave money to MAC. Well read this . Although according to that link it has expired it did happen and may still be happening. Ipod innovations my ass. I seem to recall an MP3 player that could do all the Ipod could and more before the Ipod even existed. I think Creative had it. The only thing that sells the overpriced Ipod is its "Cute" Design. There are other cheaper MP3 players that do far more than an Ipod can do. I am not going to buy a product just because it is cute. If something holds more, does more and costs less I will be buying that one no matter how it looks. Now time to piss off some people. Sorry in advanced. UNIONS can kiss my ass. I do believe strongly in the original intentions of unions. Unions have become greedy cry baby organizations. Its not wonder they only predominately exist in the north east USA. Other places will not allow them. The "That's not my job I'm not going to do it" Attitude is for babies. If you know how to do the task requested and is outside your scope of work you should pitch in and help with it, Providing you have the time. Unions are corrupt. If one company quits using a certain union then all of the sudden all unions will reject that company. This is plane nonsense and why there is an unemployment problem in those areas. "But it protects me and ensures I get paid" Is it really worth getting paid to feed your family if you deliberately seek out to starve another family simply they chose to quit using your fellow union group. I think not. That is a prime example of greed and selfishness. So before you go boasting your union status keep in mind that it will most likely not carry any weight. A friend of mine was touring NBC studios and was on the tonight show set. He took a picture of Jays desk. A guy comes up to him and demands $25 for taking that picture since it was his "Union" Job to do that. My friend of course refused to pay. The Union Ass the proceeded to try and overpower my friend to get the camera. A short scuffle ended with the Union trash falling to the ground. My friend was kicked off the tour of course since unions cant be wrong. He has that picture framed and hanging on his wall now. If you guys would quit crying about every little thing you will find that companies would be more willing to pay you more and quit breathing down your neck while you work. I interpret you as being one of those only buy American people. Guess what? That means you can't own a TV, VCR, Automobile, Computer, Air conditioner, Microwave oven, Most Toys, Stereo, Speakers, Most clothing, Hair dryer, DVD Player, Video game system And I'm sure a few more I cant think of. I bet you did not know that American companies buy product from over seas and put their name on it. For example A GE television is actually a fisher brand which is from china. Things from sears are bought from other countries and the Kenmore name is thrown on it. Except washer and dryers those are whirlpool with a Kenmore name on it. Tandy was the brand SHARP which is believe is from Japan. Zenith was the last USA TV and was sold to Mexico. I can go on forever but the point is it is impossible to buy 100% American. Ford and GM are more than 50% Japanese parts. Japan is far more advanced than US in technology. Hate to burst your all American bubble but somebody had to do it. Oh yeah one more thing. I was in the ARMY for 4 years. Sorry Dela I went WAY off topic there but had to do it. Will edit on your request. -Del

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