AfterDawn: Tech news

Apple loses patent case to Personal Audio LLC

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 09 Jul 2011 19:53 User comments (2)

Apple loses patent case to Personal Audio LLC Apple has been ordered to pay $8 million to Personal Audio LLC after losing a patent case.
The patents in question relate to downloadable playlists on the iPod line of music players.

In the case, Personal Audio alleged that Apple infringed on two patents. The company demanded $84 million in damages.

A jury voted in favor of the patent licensing company, ruling that both patents were infringed and valid.

says the first patent "covers an audio player that can receive navigable playlists" and the second covered "skipping forward or backward through the downloaded list."

Apple had claimed the patents were invalid, and they were not using the inventions.

The final damages award is tiny in relation to overall iPod revenue, which came in a $8.7 billion last year.

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2 user comments

19.7.2011 21:16

Cue KB's obligatory anti-Apple rant...

210.7.2011 7:18

I might actually be on apple's side on this one...I really don't know enough about the patents to be sure, but "an audio player that can receive navigable playlists" seems to define just about every media player in is actually a little scary considering that (taken to extremes) this verdict would make it impossible to make open source or free media players.

Apple has clearly stolen technologies in the past...but this patent sounds so vague that it should have never been approved to begin with. Patents like this are killing the industry; no one owns enough patents to make a complete device without violating someone else's patents, and many of the big patent holders don't make anything at all; they just sue other companies for making devices that violate patents like, "Using a screen to display an image" Not all such companies are crooked; I totally agree with the Microsoft Office XML ruling because Microsoft took their code...but I really think patent law should be changed so that it is impossible to hold onto a patent when you are not making or selling any product that uses said patent. I also think ultra-vague patents for ideas that are already in the public domain should not be allowed. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if someone owns the patent to, "Breathing air by using lungs".

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