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Apple targeted by new data vending patent suit

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By Jesse Hollington

Social Media & Software Editor, iLounge
Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012
News Categories: Apple

South African inventor Benjamin Grobler has filed a pair of lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleging that Apple has infringed on a “data vending system” patent issued to him in 2004. The lawsuits claim infringements on U.S. Patent 6,799,084 by operating data vending systems such as iTunes, and that the companies are further inducing their customers’ infringement. Among other things, the patent in question describes a system that stores data such as digitized music, video and/or computer programs, the dispensing of data to a uniquely identifiable data carrier, and the maintaining of owner and/or possessor records for digital content. The suit against Apple is asking for a declaration of infringement, as well as damages to be decided at the trial. [via Computerworld]

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Comments

1

Patent 6,799,084 is, once again, reason 6,799,084 why the whole system needs chucked in the ocean and rebooted.

2004? People had been buying all manner of digital goods with exactly those “infringing” features for nearly a decade at that point. Heck, by the (non) logic being employed, that patent arguably covered AOL, Compuserve, and any number of previously existing services that had owner accounts and sold digital goods.

What is, once again, obvious reading over the patent is there isn’t a single specific, ready to implement feature in the patent at all. It’s pure concept, seemingly written by someone largely unfamiliar with any of the technology architecture to begin with.

Regardless, the real flaw of this patent troll’s actions is they didn’t see fit to vague it up even more since they clearly identify the system operating via the concept of a vending booth that dispenses to an “iPod” like device directly. Since the internet had been widespread since the mid 90s and personal computers since the mid 80s, the complete lack of mention of such services and personal hubs for dispensing shows how silly this particular lawsuit is amid a sea of patent suit silliness.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on March 30, 2012 at 6:12 AM (PDT)

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