Apple Sued (Again) Over Playlists After Paying $8m Judgement

A few weeks ago, Apple lost a small jury trial related to a single patent related to downloadable playlists. The lawsuit was originally filed in June 2009 and accused Apple of infringement related to the "iPod classic, iPod mini, iPod shuffle, iPod nano and iPod Touch". The verdict awarded $8 million to patent holder Personal Audio LLC -- a very small chunk of Apple's $76 billion in cash.

Now though, Personal Audio LLC is suing Apple again, over the same patent. But this time, it's accusing Apple of infringing with different products: "the iPod Nano Generation 6, iPod Shuffle Generation 4, iPod Touch Generation 4, iPhone 4, and iPad 2" -- all products Apple has released since the first lawsuit was originally filed.

Florian Mueller at FOSS Patents explains:
Obviously the purpose of the second lawsuit is to expand upon the success of the first trial and squeeze even more money out of Apple...

This new lawsuit is more than just a nuisance for Apple to deal with. Damages in connection with the iPhone and iPad could could be substantially greater than in the previous trial that focused just on various iPod products. Also, Personal Audio LLC may now have an even better case for claiming willful infringement -- and one of Personal Audio LLC's prayers for relief is a request for an injunction.
Just one more lawsuit for Apple Legal to deal with.

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111 months ago
If Apple failed to rectify the issue after the initial trial, then they only have themselves to blame. As much as I love their products, they do seem to have an attitude that suggests no one is above them.

Going to be a huge payout.
Rating: 5 Votes
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111 months ago
Well it is justified. The initial case was over different products. If Apple deals out the heat on software patents they have to be able to take it too...though it's only $8 million.
Rating: 5 Votes
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111 months ago

Enter the Patent Troll.


You sir, are a fanboy of the highest degree.
Rating: 4 Votes
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111 months ago

Enter the Patent Troll.


Ridiculous response.
Rating: 4 Votes
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111 months ago

Enter the Patent Troll.


I find it hard to believe that anyone could be this biased...
Rating: 3 Votes
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111 months ago

No. They make stuff. They USE their patents.

That's the difference. Do you even know what a "patent troll" is?

They are a major reason for most of your complaining that the patent system is "broken."


Part of the reason the patent system exists is exactly for that reason: you shouldn't have to make products to own intellectual property. Many people have great ideas, and patent them, but are unable to market those ideas. Should they be screwed because they aren't a multi-billion dollar corporation and can't produce?

Personal Audio LLC thought of an idea before Apple, patented it, and now you're screaming bloody murder that they are "patent trolls," an educated and formal term, to say the least. The patent system has prevailed in favor of he who innovated, which in this case, was not Apple, much to your obvious dismay.
Rating: 3 Votes
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111 months ago

No. They make stuff. They USE their patents.

That's the difference. Do you even know what a "patent troll" is?

They are a major reason for most of your complaining that the patent system is "broken."


Yes. They make stuff. And use not even 1% of their patents if I had to guess. And 99 percent will probably go unused but will be litigated against because they own them.

Most tech companies have thousands of patents as they create their products. Every minutia is patented. Having worked in the industry - I can assure you that EVERY company is sitting on a bunch of "crap" that will never be used. But they DID "invent" it.

Point is - and something I stated earlier - you have NO idea how much time, money, research, etc went into the patents under scrutiny since you weren't there.

The company that owns the patents are entitled to test the validity of their patents when they are infringed. Just because they don't exist now - or don't create products doesn't mean they are not entitled to litigate.

If you were an inventor and patented something... but could never find funding or that the patent on its own didn't seem like much "at the time"... but YEARS later it was required/needed - are you telling me that you wouldn't litigate? You would just suck it up?

Yeah. Right.
Rating: 3 Votes
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111 months ago
Happy to see that the posts immediately above mine don't suggest knee-jerk support for Apple.
Maybe they were in the wrong here, it's hard enough for a jury to determine let alone someone like me reading cursory coverage of the matter, but I get frustrated by MacRumors posters who sometimes express blind support for Apple in legal matters.
Rating: 3 Votes
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111 months ago
No matter what happens, the lawyer always wins. :D Unless he loses too many cases...
Rating: 3 Votes
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111 months ago

Then don't complain about the patent system being "broken."

You have NO cause for complaint whenever any litigation takes place for any reason regarding patents.

Fair?

I don't think any of these posters have complained. But yeah, okay, whatever.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/an-explosion-of-mobile-patent-lawsuits/

On Tuesday when I spoke with Eric Von Hippel, a professor of technological innovation at M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management. He pointed out that patent lawsuits had turned particularly unpleasant lately as a result of companies that only buy and sell patents.

In the past, Mr. Von Hippel said, if companies entered a litigious dispute “they would usually come to an agreement to simply share each other’s patents.” But he said a new genre of patent lawsuits, brought on by what he calls “patent trolls,” had changed the nature of the disputes. These companies have no interest in using the patents, Mr. Von Hippel said, but instead hope to reap large sums of money from the lawsuits themselves.


And in other news the sky is blue. Just because Apple are currently on the loosing side of a patent, doesn't mean the system 'isn't fair' or is corrupt.

Media industries are not about media, they are about copyright. The music, movie, etc industries all fight and argue about copyright ownership and there are many media based companies who exists simply just to buy and sell copyright ownership.

What makes you think any industry that involves some sort of product going to be any different?
Rating: 2 Votes
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