Apple in legal dispute with Burst over digital media patents | iLounge News

Apple in legal dispute with Burst over digital media patents, which develops video and audio delivery software, said it was sued by Apple on Wednesday for declaratory relief, alleging patent invalidity or non-infringement. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, follows “a breakdown in protracted negotiations for issuance of a license of Burst’s patents to cover Apple’s iPod and iTunes products,” according to the company.

“Burst anticipates responding to the complaint and filing a counterclaim for patent infringement shortly,” the company said in a statement late Thursday. “Burst remains committed to the enforcement of its intellectual property and looks forward to successfully resolving this litigation through a license covering Apple’s Quicktime, iPod and iTunes products, including Apple’s iTunes Music Store.”

In March of last year Burst settled a major patent and antitrust suit against Microsoft. The software giant paid Burst $60 million to license its patents. “Since the Microsoft settlement, the company has been in patent licensing discussions with several companies engaged in the distribution of audio and video content on computer networks,” Burst said.

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Interesting…can’t agree on a price, even after all that time negotiating?  Then sue the a** off the other guy and hope the courts find in your favor.  What’s that argument, again?  We’re Apple, the ‘GOOD’ guys, and therefore we shouldn’t be bothered with paltry things like patent infringements; however, we’re not sure if it’s non-infringement or invalid patents, so we’ll sue for one or the other. Please, Your Honor, select what you feel is best (for us).

Also interesting that MSFT didn’t bother to fight and just settled with Burst.

Posted by flatline response on January 6, 2006 at 5:46 AM (CST)


Wow, this is BIG news! It means Apple IS working on a streaming movie store, as that’s what the Burst patents are about, streaming media.

Posted by KenC on January 6, 2006 at 6:10 AM (CST)


Good deduction kenc. We just might have a pay per play movie network on iTunes in the next 2 years

Posted by Jonathan Keim on January 6, 2006 at 7:51 AM (CST)


@flatline response

The interesting thing is that Burst apparently holds a patent on streaming audio/video over a network.  Something that I remember doing in the late 80s/early 90s.

As for Apple suing for both non-infringment or invalid, that’s normal.  Basically what they’re saying is that they don’t believe the patent is valid, but even if the court determines that it is, they don’t believe they are infringing on the patent.  If they don’t sue for both, they’d loose the opportunity to sue for the other one if they lost because both are directly related to the same action, so they are required to be litigated together.

Posted by Theo on January 6, 2006 at 8:49 AM (CST)

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