A small Texas based company is suing Apple, Samsung, and Sandisk for infringement on patent 7,065,417, which describes "an MPEG portable sound reproducing system and a method for reproducing sound data compressed using the MPEG method." According to InfoWorld, the suit was filed February 16th in Marshall, Texas, which has a reputation of being friendly to plaintiffs.

Apple, like many other large corporations, is routinely sued. In Apple's latest 10Q filing (pdf), Apple listed 33 outstanding lawsuits at the time. While most of the lawsuits brought against Apple never see press coverage, this one has seen increased interest from the tech community, possibly due to the recent Alcatel-Lucent MP3 licensing verdict against Microsoft.

That being said, it isn't clear what bearing, if any, the Alcatel-Lucent case will have on this lawsuit.

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