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  • iTunes Content Delivery Allegedly Violates Patent



    Another day, another lawsuit for Apple.

    According to the latest litigation hurled at the folks in Cupertino, a New Jersey based company called Multi-Format Inc. says that the way in which Apple delivers digital content (movies, TV shows, and any video segments) through iTunes directly violates a patent held by the people at Multi-Format Inc.

    More specifically, the East Coast company in question secured ownership of a patent some seven years ago - "Multi-format audio/video production system" - and, based on the language of the lawsuit filed, the iTunes store and any device that secures digital video content from it, are in direct violation of close to two dozen claims within the aforementioned patent.

    Patent creators Kinya Washino and Barry H. Schwab describe their creation as a means for reprocessing video to fit a specific aspect ratio or framerate in order to guarantee optimal playback on a particular device. From the claim by Multi-Format Inc.:

    Apple has made, used, sold, offered for sale and/or imported products which enable the downloading and viewing of video programs, including, but not limited to, the personal computers, including the Power Mac G5, iPhone (including 3GS and 4G), iPad, iPod classic, iPod nano, iPod touch, Apple TV and iTunes products, throughout the United States.
    What - if anything - could result from the lawsuit is not yet clear. But it marks the latest in a long series of litigation battles in which Apple has found itself during the first nine months of 2010.

    Barron's
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iTunes Content Delivery Allegedly Violates Patent started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 20 Comments
    1. TheOrioles33's Avatar
      TheOrioles33 -
      So how do you suggest Apple deliver their media? Snail mail?
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      They will play content through the latest add-ons for the iPhone. A 35mm projector and a phonograph.
    1. Ngmead's Avatar
      Ngmead -
      My gosh is there anything not patened now adays? I understand physicall patents and maybe some other patents, but come on a way of doing things? So basically now you have to come up with a new way of doing anything everytime you want to add some features? I'm not taking apples side on this but it makes no sense in todays market where every little thing is patented. Thats like apple saying they hold the patent on the i which I believe they did at one point I could be wrong about that. I also could be reading into things to much if so please steer me in the right direction.
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      Keep 'em coming. they arent goin to get sh*** why dont they sue other companies like blackberry , motorola droid phones etc, for deliveing content they deliver apps and bunch other cra*.
    1. Ruthle$$Turtle's Avatar
      Ruthle$$Turtle -
      ya funny how ppl always go after the guy with the fat pockets looking for *** load of money for nothing... greed seems to over take ppl too easily. i agree that there is things that apple and the rest do/ make /sell that push the line and even cross it but really how far must it go and if ur going to go after apple they better be going after the others too or there just wasting there time.

      (just a lil venting here )really if think about anything we make over here thats making $$$ someones going to make or have it made over seas and sell it for pennies on the dollar....we have all seen it and there isnt crap we can do about it with the way laws are here and there.


      everybody wants a piece of the pie i love apple
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Seems like Apple sends in a new patent for something every hour to protect their invention, so when they voilate other people's patent shouldn't Apple pay?
      If Apple want their patents protected, they better pay to use patents.
      Find it funny people jump on Apple's waggon when Apple is breaking the law, but when other steals Apple's patents they cry foul.
      Nobody ever said Apple can not use other people's patent, pay for the license of their patent and there would not be any problem.
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      This patent goes back seven years, what the he'll have they been waiting for. Not like you could have gone the last seven years in the tech industry and not have heard of apple or iTunes.
    1. kraziebone's Avatar
      kraziebone -
      Software patents are a joke. All these big companies pantent their stuff only so that they have ammunition if someone else tries to sue them. The patents are a joke: single click (owned by Amazon) , double click(Microsoft), podcasts(some small company), ect. These patents are NOT protecting innovation, they're limiting it. That's why you only see a small company going after large ones on these patents because they have nothing to lose cause the don't have any software of their own. If you're in the software and hardware business legitimately, you're going violate software patents so the only way to defend yourself is to patent all your stuff and hope it catches on. When you're about to go out of business, it's time to start sueing
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Yeah? How vague is Apple's patents that gets posted on this site almost every day? Recent one I recall is Facial Recognition, so Apple is at fault on on this wave of "limiting innovation". Also copyright is the law of the land, if you don't like it you can sell your product elsewhere. If you want to sell it here you better follow the rules, if you want to use someone's patent pay the fee or make yours different than their patent just enough so you are not infringing on their patents. How do you know if you are infringing on other patents? Patent your own invention and if it passes you are fairly safe, but if it doesn't then pay to use it or make your product a bit different than theirs.

      Quote Originally Posted by EskimoRuler View Post
      This patent goes back seven years, what the he'll have they been waiting for. Not like you could have gone the last seven years in the tech industry and not have heard of apple or iTunes.
      To wait until there is enough violation by Apple to make this lawsuit worth it, standard practice.
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      Why are companies even allowed to patent digital (software NOT hardware) technology, that's like having a patent on recipe for chicken !!!

      Its really stupid, excessive and unnecessary.

      All these patents really do is lock up the technology and prevent anyone from developing it and ensuring future profits for whoever holds the patent even if there is no use for it for years to come.

      This reminds me of the pharmaceutical companies that are being awarded patents on human DNA.
    1. kraziebone's Avatar
      kraziebone -
      Unison, so you're solution if you don't like something is to leave? All I'm saying is nowhere in the world is software so easily patented. Why can't we try and change the way things are done in the US. We can still protect software by making it copywritten but the software patent is not working. Patents are made to protect innovation but with the current design of how software companies and software patents work, these patents are not working the way they should. You rarely see big companies sue other large companies over their software patents being violated because they're not patenting software to protect their software. They're doing it to so they can continue to infringe on other patents they don't own. Nobody sues each other because you can't survive in the software business without infringing on 1000 other patents. This was not the design of patents.

      Basic software programs that are not extremely revolutionary are essentially a type of language arranged in a certain sequence. We still need to protect that, but we already have a system in place to protect your written words - copyright. To treat this as an invention of a physical object like a patent does is counter intuitive. The U.S. is the only one that operates this way & I'm not alone when saying I feel like this needs to change. This would benefit software companies, both large and small.
    1. tjb5099's Avatar
      tjb5099 -
      It seems like an unavoidable thing these days. Do they have a search database that people can search patents?

      ~Tim
    1. Ngmead's Avatar
      Ngmead -
      Good to know im not the only one who thinks some of these patents are just rediculas. Yes even some of Apples patents. I agree all it does is stop inovation. A patents aon a product is different like say the iPhone for example yes I understand that but not for example the way a phone connects to wifi (Apples being sued for this cause of the iPhone) once again I'm not on Apples side cause they do it to, but there comes a time when we should say enough is enough.
    1. j_alicea's Avatar
      j_alicea -
      This is most likely, this small company trying to make an easy payday.

      People think that software patents shouldn't be allowed.
      But if it were your hard work and sweat that someone else was making money off of, you would welcome having a patent in place.

      This boils down to whether or not the patent is actually being violated.
      Patents aren't as simple as saying, "I hereby patent a way of delivering media scaled for different devices." Ideas themselves aren't what the patent protects, but the actual process used to make this happen. 2 people can have the same exact idea, with 2 completely different ways to go about making it happen.

      If it was a blatant infraction of the patent, then Apple would never have gotten the patents for their own processes in the first place.

      If Apple did infringe, then yes they should pay. I just don't think that's the case this time around.
      The information is just too vague right now...
    1. Antman217's Avatar
      Antman217 -
      Doesn't pretty much any portable device do this now and the iPhone has been out for a while now... what the **** have they been waiting for LMAO!
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Quote Originally Posted by kraziebone View Post
      Unison, so you're solution if you don't like something is to leave? All I'm saying is nowhere in the world is software so easily patented. Why can't we try and change the way things are done in the US. We can still protect software by making it copywritten but the software patent is not working. Patents are made to protect innovation but with the current design of how software companies and software patents work, these patents are not working the way they should. You rarely see big companies sue other large companies over their software patents being violated because they're not patenting software to protect their software. They're doing it to so they can continue to infringe on other patents they don't own. Nobody sues each other because you can't survive in the software business without infringing on 1000 other patents. This was not the design of patents.

      Basic software programs that are not extremely revolutionary are essentially a type of language arranged in a certain sequence. We still need to protect that, but we already have a system in place to protect your written words - copyright. To treat this as an invention of a physical object like a patent does is counter intuitive. The U.S. is the only one that operates this way & I'm not alone when saying I feel like this needs to change. This would benefit software companies, both large and small.


      Uhhh please read what I wrote. My solution is if you are going to use someone's patent you pay for the damn thing! Don't like the price? Invent your own!
      As to "you rarely see big company sue", are you kidding me???? You know how much lawsuit Apple filed? And how many big company filed against Apple??? First one that pop into my mind, world's biggest cell phone company Nokia filed a suit against Apple for using their GSM technology. Apple's excuse? Their price is too high... Then create your own damn thing instead just steal then complain about the price.
    1. iNT3Rv3NTiONZz's Avatar
      iNT3Rv3NTiONZz -
      Such bs, what is this world coming to when it's illegal to use the best methods of data transfer due to patents! What do they want? That apple send people their media on USB sticks in the f***ing post!?!?!?!
      WHAT A JOKE !!!


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Love all these replies I see...
      Instead of complaining about Apple stealing other people's invention, they complain about people not giving it to Apple for free???
    1. coolguy742's Avatar
      coolguy742 -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheOrioles33 View Post
      So how do you suggest Apple deliver their media? Snail mail?
      You sir, are a douche.
      And besides Apple has more than enough money to have people combing patents so they can tell if they are infringing on any, and any infringement is either a result of turning a blind eye to patents they are aware of, or they just didn't know that tech was patented. (If Apple's current attitude is anything to go by, then they knew this patent existed they were just too lazy to come up with their own tech!)

      Quote Originally Posted by iNT3Rv3NTiONZz View Post
      Such bs, what is this world coming to when it's illegal to use the best methods of data transfer due to patents! What do they want? That apple send people their media on USB sticks in the f***ing post!?!?!?!
      WHAT A JOKE !!!


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
      You have the right idea.
      It's a thing called if I come up with a new formula for a "super dooper car soap" and I patent it so no one else will "steal my formula". Then all the sudden 10 years later someone else discovers my formula, so I say "OK you can manufacture and sell the same product as me IF I get an annuity or cut of profit"|. THATS the way companys should handle patent infringement NOT by being douche bags and suing!
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      One patent a day brings a lawsuit today.

      Someone has money signs on their eyes.