Link Apple has reached a settlement with a Vermont firm that claimed the Mac maker's iTunes music software swiped its patented design. According to the Burlington Free Press, which reported the settlement on Friday, patent owner David Contois and his family run a 35-year-old musical instrument and technology store in Essex Junction, Vt. Court documents show that Contois Music Technology sued Apple in the U.S. District Court of Vermont in June 2005, accusing the company of infringing on U.S. Patent No. 5,864,868, which covers "a computer system and method for controlling a media playing device," such as a player piano or a video player. Contois believed current or future Apple employees were in attendance when he first demonstrated the invention at a technology trade show in November 1996, the original court complaint said. He had filed his patent application in February 1996 and was ultimately awarded the rights in 1999, according to U.S. government records. The case had already proceeded to a number of critical pre-trial hearings before the parties settled. The terms of the settlement, filed with the court on Aug. 21, were not disclosed.