Apple, AT&T, Shazam sued over song ID tech | iLounge News

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Apple, AT&T, Shazam sued over song ID tech

Apple, AT&T, Shazam Entertainment, and others have been sued in federal court by Tune Hunter, which claims the various companies have infringed on its patented song identification technology. Applied for in 2000 and granted in September, 2005, U.S. Patent no. 6,941,275 describes a music identification system that can either record the timestamp and currently playing radio station on an electronic device, or record and submit for processing a sample of audio in order, each technique capable of determining the song playing at the time. After submission, the song’s title, artist, and other information can be presented to the user via Internet or traditional voice telephony, with the possibility of providing a purchase link alongside the results.

Though Shazam and other companies may have offered music identification services since before 2005, Tune Hunter could recover damages for infringements taking place after its patent was granted. Apple, although potentially protected by its App Store contract, may be liable given that it has actively promoted Shazam’s iPhone application in a dedicated advertisement for the iPhone 3G as a reason to purchase the device. Other companies named in the suit include Samsung, Amazon, Napster, Motorola, Gracenote, Cellco Partnership (Verizon Wireless), LG, and Pantech; it is unclear whether additional applications, such as Melodis’s Midomi or Griffin’s iFM, will also be impacted by the patent.

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Comments

1

I’m tired of this companies…. dont they have anything better to do, but to sue Apple .....

Posted by hansel Jr on May 14, 2009 at 9:55 PM (CDT)

2

It is so much cheaper to patent an non-functional product, wait for someone to make it Just Work and then sue them. It saves so much on R&D;and Marketing; the only real expense is the Lawyers.

Posted by Dan Woods on May 15, 2009 at 4:12 AM (CDT)

3

they got nothing else to do.. How long has shazam been out now, until they decided to do something. I guess once they went in the red numbers they decided to start sueing and APPLe is always the first one they try..lol

woow,... lol

Posted by dennis on May 15, 2009 at 7:40 AM (CDT)

4

wow, you mean 2 people may have had the same idea without knowing the other? one actually produced the product while the other just put it on paper and said no i’m not smart enough to do that! well of course the latter should get paid. (sarcasm should be noted here)

Posted by Hydra-Calm on May 15, 2009 at 12:26 PM (CDT)

5

I think the comments from the posters above (maybe except the last one, the sarcasm threw me) reflect a grave misunderstanding of our patent system, as well as the general workings of the legal processes in our country.

If someone (or someone working for a business entity) comes up with a novel idea for a device, process, method, etc., that meets all the requirements of patentability, and obtains a patent duly issued by the USPTO, that patentee is entitled to a number of rights.  One of them being the “right to exclude.”  Consequently, the patent-holder has the right to exercise those rights against those that infringe on his patent through litigation or by negotiating licensing agreements. 

For those complaining about people suing Apple, consider this hypothetical:  You come up with this great idea, invest about 10 grand in pursuing the patent (which is the average cost), go through the whole process for five years, and finally get your patent.  Then these other companies start using that idea, raking in millions of dollars.  Now, if you can legally get those companies to cut you a fat check.  Wouldn’t you do it? 

The whole reason for a patent system being in place is to drive innovation.  I don’t know all the facts of this case or any of the details involved (other than what’s above), but the very system that allows this company to sue these others for infringement is what drives innovation and advancements in technology that we all use and enjoy (of course after a price has been paid).

Posted by IP Student on June 19, 2009 at 5:22 PM (CDT)

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