Apple hit with patent lawsuit over iTunes, MobileMe, more | iLounge News

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Apple hit with patent lawsuit over iTunes, MobileMe, more

Apple, along with 17 other companies including Kodak and Microsoft, has been sued for patent infringement by BetaNet, LLC in U.S. District Court in Texas. BetaNet claims that Apple is infringing two U.S. Patents, both entitled “Secure System for Activating Personal Computer Software at Remote Locations” via its iTunes, Aperture, QuickTime, and MobileMe programs. BetaNet claims Apple infringes upon its patent by offering limited software for download, which can be upgraded to a “complete version” after entering license transaction information, which is then sent to a central registration server that returns the complete program. BetaNet is seeking damages, costs, expenses, and interest, as well as a permanent injunction barring all 18 companies from further infringement. [via The Loop]

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Comments

1

Wow, its probably a bankrupt company looking for its last shot at money, lol.

Posted by Anil on December 15, 2009 at 7:59 PM (CST)

2

Wow if you skim the suit you can see it should just be the plaintive v. everybody.  In each section they literally say the exact same thing for each named defendent and then just list some programs they sell/offer online that can be downloaded.  At least 50 more companies could also be named the way they have written this.  Will be thrown out for sure.

Posted by sting7k on December 15, 2009 at 8:09 PM (CST)

3

Not saying this is likely, because I’m not sure litigators have a sense of humor. But it is rather humorous to me. Our patent system is so far behind the times because the operators of the patent office are not tech savvy, so they’ve been bamboozled in past by all kinds of ridiculous patent claims—such as the infamous Amazon.com claim that it holds the patent for “1-click checkout” on websites, with the concept of storing your credit card and shipping data with them on their servers, and from there, all it takes is 1-click to complete a transaction.

What makes this BetaNet move humorous—is the audacity of all the patent infringement suits flying across silicon valley… Apple sued by Nokia for x, y, and z, then Apple countersuing Nokia for a, b, and c.

In some ways, BetaNet may have completely valid claims from the standpoint of whose minor variations of someone else’s process constitutes another patentable system.

This is why the bar needs to be set HIGHER for patents in this age of software-based processes. But truly, what this event reflects are several things at once:

(1) Many a business who has created or innovated a process has probably failed to file patent with PTO… leaving the door open time and again for the “next to market” company with their more savvy legal teams to swoop in and file a patent for their process.

(2) It also raises again the concept of “are ideas patentable?” or just the specific execution of an idea.And then how narrowly people try to define a specific execution as “initiated here first”

(3) Intellectual property and inventions absolutely need to be protected, but at what point do ideas become so commonplace that the originating idea is no longer worthy of licensing protection. Did some caveman ever patent the concept of a club to beat someone? Shouldn’t police departments today have to pay Caveman licensing fees for any and all variations of said club?

But I’m not a lawyer. Many will know this answer in a heartbeat:  In matters regarding trademark violations, the only way those can hold up is if the offended party goes after the offending party immediately, upon first indication of the violation.

So it seems rather ludicrous to me that a patent holder could choose not to go after Big Name Companies for years and years—and then suddenly spring up and say “you stole that idea from us, now you need to pay damages”.

I’m going to, for the moment, stand by my humor interpretation:  It would be very cool to me if this was a lawsuit simply intended to MOCK the aggressive suits and countersuits being thrown about by Apple and its various competitors.

Posted by Quicksite on December 15, 2009 at 11:51 PM (CST)

4

I find this very funny when people/companies complain AFTER THE FACT. How many years has iTunes, and Aperature been out, never mind the fact that MobileMe is just an updated .Mac ... How many years? And these idiots want to claim infringement NOW? Screw them! They had all this time to complain and they waited this long? Too late. Plus, Kodak, you’re not the only game in town. Your name might have been synonymous with photography years ago but wake up and smell the coffee now. You don’t own the market.

Posted by Jervis Tetch on December 16, 2009 at 4:07 AM (CST)

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