Apple loses iPod patent because of Microsoft? | iLounge News


Apple loses iPod patent because of Microsoft?

Apple may have lost its attempt to patent the iPod software interface because long-time rival Microsoft had already filed a similar application. Bloomberg News reports that Microsoft’s patent application was filed with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office five months before Apple’s request, which was rejected last month.

“Apple plans to appeal the decision to ensure it won’t be forced to pay royalties to Microsoft on every iPod sale,” Bloomberg reports. “The decision could be a setback for Apple, which is also facing increased competition from Microsoft, which makes software for rival music players, and other companies that want to take market share.”

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said that Apple will continue to pursue the iPod patent. “Apple invented and publicly released the iPod interface before the Microsoft patent application cited by the examiner was filed,

Related Stories



microsoft keeps reminding me of a small spoiled child loosing to his not-as-rich but harder working enemy and complaining about it and most likely getting his way because he has the money.

Posted by iamazero on August 11, 2005 at 5:15 PM (CDT)


doesn’t bill gates have enough control over the pc world? it saddens me to see how microsoft tries to weed out competition like this ...

Posted by mary on August 11, 2005 at 6:14 PM (CDT)


Isn’t simply the case that Apple filed for the patent too late?  I think the saying goes, “You snooze, you lose.”  MS didn’t do anything wrong IMHO.

Posted by User on August 11, 2005 at 6:20 PM (CDT)


both sides are a bunch of crybabies.

Posted by Bill G on August 11, 2005 at 6:26 PM (CDT)


gee, I wonder who you support mister “BIll G” lol well anyway, this whole thing is stupid M$ should have to give up the patent, the product has already been produced by the far superior company apple computers.  But then again hasn’t M$  always acted like this, they’re just a bunch of babies who can’t stand competition.  To quote bill gates on the simpsons “I didn’t get rich by writing a lot of checks…”

Posted by matrixsjd on August 11, 2005 at 6:40 PM (CDT)


matrixsjd, quoting simpsons are we? LOL!

Posted by haha on August 11, 2005 at 7:20 PM (CDT)


matrixsjd and iamazero - What’s wrong with Microsoft trying to patent something they already developed?  They didn’t steal Apple’s technology and patent that, they developed it on their own - BEFORE Apple did.  Companies don’t have to give up patents just because someone else implements them - in a better method or not.  If that were the case, then that company selling those Super Shuffles would be completely fine in the US.

Posted by Jeff on August 11, 2005 at 7:39 PM (CDT)


“They didn’t steal Apple’s technology and patent that, they developed it on their own - BEFORE Apple did.”

Err…they didn’t develope anything.  It’s a patent, not a product.

Posted by The Raven on August 11, 2005 at 7:56 PM (CDT)


Well actually Jeff, a patent does not mean they developed the product, all you need to get a patent is an idea, and it just happens to be that apple came up with the idea and created the iPod, therefore yestM$ did steal the patent.  Developed it?? excuse me, does M$ make the iPod?? last time I checked the back of mine it has a picture of an apple.  Thank you….

Posted by matrixsjd on August 11, 2005 at 8:04 PM (CDT)


“Isn’t simply the case that Apple filed for the patent too late?” - User

That doesn’t matter.  If Apple publicly released the technology before Microsoft filed for patent, then *MICROSOFT’S* patent should be invalid because of what they call “prior art”.

But the patent system sucks anyhow.

Posted by Thom on August 11, 2005 at 8:07 PM (CDT)


It’s a competitive world. You snooze, you lose. Cry about it.

Posted by ZZ on August 11, 2005 at 8:39 PM (CDT)


wah wah wah, cry for me you apple zealots.

Posted by Jay on August 11, 2005 at 8:46 PM (CDT)


Neither company came up with diddly. Neither company should receive a patent for what amounts to nothing more than a basic database query applied to a music library.

Posted by Code Monkey on August 11, 2005 at 8:59 PM (CDT)


whats next, MicroPod, “Able to receive spyware and viruses like no other.”

Posted by Ernie 2.0 on August 11, 2005 at 11:27 PM (CDT)


Code Monkey is exactly right. This is undeserving of a patent award…for ANYONE.

Posted by flatline response on August 11, 2005 at 11:30 PM (CDT)


First, Apple made the iPod.

Second, Microsoft sent their lawyers through the patent process to patent Apple’s interface before Apple could.

Third, Apple went to apply for patent on the product they made and were already selling, and found out that MS had snuck behind their back and patented something that Apple had developed, so now Apple has to appeal the MS patent because it’s clearly a matter of MS trying to end-run and patent something they did not create in the first place.

Ask Sun about this one.

Posted by Wilder_K_Wight on August 12, 2005 at 1:46 AM (CDT)


is it possible Microsoft greased the wheels within the process to quicken things just to get the leverage? I mean come on.. it was 5 months. And doesn’t a patent require a working model of the technology? AND the patent being a software interface should require what they are using the interface for.. which again would require a working model of the technology to put it on for a demonstration.

patent law is crazy.. I agree with code monkey neither should be able to patent something that has been around since first contextual type UI. Like a dos shell.. I am so tired.. I am probably way wrong about it and I am sure you all will correct me on my errors.

Posted by Coreen on August 12, 2005 at 2:33 AM (CDT)


In the end…neither of them will get the patent.  Both applications are way too broad and that’s why they both keep getting rejected.

Posted by Talking Madness on August 12, 2005 at 2:50 AM (CDT)


First off, why didn’t Apple patent the “idea” as soon as they had it, rather than years after their product hit the market?  As others have said, he who hesitates, masturbates.

Second, I think they got that Shuffle knockoff on copyright, not patent. 

Third, this is a patent that should never have been granted in the first place.  Overly broad patents, patents for ideas that should be blindingly obvious to any compatent worker in the field, and look-and-feel patents are all extremely damaging to the advancement of the state of the art and should have never been allowed. It’s crap like this that makes me so glad that the EU voted against software patents.  Such things as look-and-feel are more than adequately protected by copyright, most progress in software is made by building on ideas that already exist, and vauge patents exist purely as an abuse of a poor patent system which makes it far too easy to get a patent granted and far too difficult to get an invalid patent struck off.

Posted by phennphawcks on August 12, 2005 at 5:22 AM (CDT)


a working model of the technology

I think both Apple and M$ have a problem with Compaq’s PJB, released two years earlier. This was the first hard-disk based player. It used a hierarchical filing system, with pre-configured and on-the-go playlists created by user selection.

One area where the PJB still scores over pretty much all modern players is that it had a unique on-disk format structure designed to facilitate gapless playback. MP3 frames are always aligned so as to eliminate gaps between playback, and duplicate file references are handled in the ToC and not using replication on-disk.

The PJB is one of the key wellsprings of portable digital audio player patents, and now it’s completely owned by HP…

Low power system and method for playing compressed audio data,332,175.WKU.&OS=PN/6,332,175&RS=PN/6,332,175

The other core patents are the original Diamond Rio IP, now owned by SigmaTel (and used in both iPods and MS-style players):

The lack of core Apple patents here is telling. It’s a critical threat for Apple in years to come. If and when the market turns against their products, companies with broad patent domains can rely on royalties from sales of competing products for income. Apple cannot. Maybe this will spur it to try harder with the iPod?

Posted by Demosthenes on August 12, 2005 at 10:23 AM (CDT)

Subscribe to iLounge Weekly

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2018 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy