View Full Version : Apple Patent Loss May Earn Microsoft $10 Per iPod

Aug 17, 2005, 01:50 PM

Check out the above story. The short of it is that Microsoft beat Apple to a few key patents relating to the iPod, and a court recently ruled that Apple must pay royalties to Microsoft for every iPod sold! Apparently this will be appealed, but does anyone have an idea of how serious of a defeat this is? This ruling just doesn't seem right.

Aug 17, 2005, 02:31 PM
yeah that kinda might suck. M$ beat them by 5 months.

Aug 17, 2005, 02:56 PM
This story has been debunked-- its bogus. Here's a Forbes article that says why. (http://www.forbes.com/associatedpress/feeds/ap/2005/08/16/ap2182825.html)

First, the ipod was already on the market when the patent was filed. Second, the patent is for a kind of computer made "playlist"-- only a small fraction of what the ipod does.

Third, remember the apple-microsoft bailout deal? Quote from Forbes: "Tim Bajarin, principal analyst for Creative Strategies, pointed out that Apple and Microsoft signed a five-year agreement in 1997 to share technology. When the deal expired in 2002, the music-player patents in question may have been covered, he said."

Conclusion, also from article:

"If someone were taking bets," he said, "I would wager that Apple never pays Microsoft a cent."

Aug 17, 2005, 05:01 PM
First, the ipod was already on the market when the patent was filed.

See this is where I get really confused on this issue. As far as I know, two of the primary requirements for a patent are:

1) It is novel (not been done before)
2) It is not obvious.

Now, if the iPod was already on the market, how could Microsoft possibly have been granted the patent? By definition (1) is already false, and if both companies came up with the idea independently, (2) is pretty much dead.


I really, truly, do not understand this. How did this patent get approved?

Aug 17, 2005, 05:07 PM
Who the heck grants a freaking patent for something that already exists?! The system is a joke.

Aug 17, 2005, 05:08 PM
$10 per iPod is pretty excessive.

Aug 17, 2005, 05:24 PM
Who the heck grants a freaking patent for something that already exists?! The system is a joke.

This really worries me in this case. I can understand (well that's too strong a word, I can see the reasoning behind) granting a patent because the wording is so obfuscated that you don't realize what's being patented is internet logins. But in this case the patent was obviously clear enough that they recognized the application to the iPod (hence denying Apple's patent). So the only explanation I can come up with is that these patents are being rubberstamped with *no* prior art check.

If so, the implications are terrifying: you can't sell a product unless you have enough money to fight lawsuits against large corporations. Apple has the money to fight this one, but what about the next small company that makes a product, and Microsoft (or anyone else) after seeing it says "cool, I'd better patent that so I can charge them royalties".

Aug 17, 2005, 05:43 PM
Well here goes Microsoft ****ing up everything like they always do.

Aug 17, 2005, 06:56 PM
Sounds nothings going to happen becuase of the agreement they had to share eachothers technolgies from 1997-2002 (gonna have to check the dates). If that doesnt work I still think Apple will win and not have to pay microsoft (but thats cuz I love apple :p )

Aug 17, 2005, 07:09 PM
Anyone with proof of prior art is generally exempt from being charged royalties for a patented product/item. Of course, the MS patent really doesn't apply to the iPod at all anyway...
Heck, we might as well be still talking about Microsoft patenting an apple. (http://news.com.com/2100-1008_3-5205574.html)