Apple Sued (Again) Over Playlists After Paying $8m Judgement

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
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    A few weeks ago, Apple lost a small jury trial related to a single patent related to downloadable playlists. The lawsuit was originally filed in June 2009 and accused Apple of infringement related to the "iPod classic, iPod mini, iPod shuffle, iPod nano and iPod Touch". The verdict awarded $8 million to patent holder Personal Audio LLC -- a very small chunk of Apple's $76 billion in cash.

    Now though, Personal Audio LLC is suing Apple again, over the same patent. But this time, it's accusing Apple of infringing with different products: "the iPod Nano Generation 6, iPod Shuffle Generation 4, iPod Touch Generation 4, iPhone 4, and iPad 2" -- all products Apple has released since the first lawsuit was originally filed.

    Florian Mueller at FOSS Patents explains:
    Just one more lawsuit for Apple Legal to deal with.

    Article Link: Apple Sued (Again) Over Playlists After Paying $8m Judgement
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    res1233

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    #2
    No matter what happens, the lawyer always wins. :D Unless he loses too many cases...
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    WiiDSmoker

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    Hermitage, TN
    #3
    Well it is justified. The initial case was over different products. If Apple deals out the heat on software patents they have to be able to take it too...though it's only $8 million.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    striker33

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #4
    If Apple failed to rectify the issue after the initial trial, then they only have themselves to blame. As much as I love their products, they do seem to have an attitude that suggests no one is above them.

    Going to be a huge payout.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    justinfreid

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    #5
    Happy to see that the posts immediately above mine don't suggest knee-jerk support for Apple.
    Maybe they were in the wrong here, it's hard enough for a jury to determine let alone someone like me reading cursory coverage of the matter, but I get frustrated by MacRumors posters who sometimes express blind support for Apple in legal matters.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

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  7. macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #7
    Just pay out these small fry and move on, and keep churning out great products.
     
  8. macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #8
    only this time it might be a lot more since they lost the first time and refused to clean up for newer products.

    I would say it was a dumb move on Apples part to not pay up on some fee to begin with but instead try to dance around it and not play it.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
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    #9
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    How did their prior settlement not cover all future and
    Current products? Sounds like Apple's attorney dropped the ball here.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    rosalindavenue

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    #10
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_8 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8E401 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Apple has demonstrated that they are more than willing to sue over sketchy patents. So they ought to be willing to be sued themselves.
     
  11. macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #11
    because it was not settled. It was ended by the jury which means Apple did not get anything extra.
    Apple mistake here was not getting some agreement in place to protect themselves from being farther hit. This time it could easily be willful infringement which can add a huge chunk of change (3x) to the end result. I only not be shock at all if Apple ended up having to pay out a 100mil plus at the end.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I can only assume Apple felt confident that they could have the patent in question overturned, or that a Jury would find the claim unjustified.

    That outcome is still possible for this second case -- if Apple can produce sufficient quality prior art or build an argument that the claim does not apply. Although both are now much more difficult now.
     
  13. ftaok, Jul 20, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011

    macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #13
    I'm not a lawyer, but I do play one on the internet ...

    Anyways, I don't think it's a case where Apple willfully infringed on the patent. The case was filed in 2009 and a verdict was recently handed down. If the judge did not order Apple to halt production of the iPods, then Apple has the right to continue to manufacture and market devices until the case is settled or a verdict handed down. Now, I would guess that Apple will settle this case, or perhaps buy the patent/company outright. Either that or appeal the decision.

    Apple would only be willfully infringing on the patents is they were to continue with new devices, etc., after the verdict. I'm guessing that Apple's lawyers are in negotiation with the patent owners right now.


    Nevermind. I just skimmed over the FOSS Patent blog. Looks like Apple could be exposed for a bit of cash. Just buy them out and move on.
     
  14. macrumors newbie

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    Jun 25, 2011
    #14
    Apple is likely out of luck on the issue of the validity of the patent. Having been sued once and lost, Apple will likely not be allowed to challenge the patent's validity in the second lawsuit. Apple cannot re-try that issue again.
     
  15. macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #15
    I was about to say. As for the 3x part I pulled that from wiki. Reason that I figured it could break 100mil is a lot more of those devices being targeted now have been sold than the ones in the first case so you are going to have higher cost because more devices then 3x those devices.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    mazz0

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    Leeds, UK
    #16
    That patent sounds bloody ridiculous to me (there's a link to it on the FOSS Patents article).
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Surely you would have expected any decent legal team to address to the issue of subsequent/future product releases as part of the original settlement?
     
  18. macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #18
    What does Personal Audio LLC make? Never heard of em.
     
  19. macrumors 68020

    JarScott

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    #19
    Apple will earn the money back...

    I dare say, even if they do get more money out of Apple, Apple will just have made the amount again with the inveitable soon release of iPhone 4S/5. But, these people think they can take Apple on, let them, it will just backfire. Although, this article doesn't explain exactly what Apple has infringed??
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    Location:
    SoCal
    #20
    Personal Audio LLC sounds like it is about to become another member of the Apple family. Honestly, if they lost the first one, they are likely to lose the second. They'll buy them out, then use that to see if they can make that patent stick against the Android phones. But I guess we'll never know; it will all just become quiet.
     
  21. macrumors G5

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    Jun 22, 2009
    #21
    What does that have to do with anything? Do you know about every company that holds a patent?
     
  22. *LTD*, Jul 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011

    macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #22
    It's the difference between a potential innovator and a patent troll. A patent troll has rights like every other patent holder, except they abuse them.

    See Mirror Worlds vs. Apple.

    In fact, Personal Audio LLC is a non-practicing entity.

    They are PATENT TROLLS.

    Shady outfits like this need to be bankrupted.
     
  23. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Location:
    ABQ, NM
    #23
    +1. Quit downplaying the fact that your beloved Apple have infringed on someone else's patent. You act as though it's so criminal when HTC does it to Apple, but when the tables are turned, you reply with arrogant retorts that establish you as a fanboy.

    The fact remains that if HTC are "crooks" and "criminals" for stealing Apple's IP and infringing on patents, then so are Apple for doing the same.
     
  24. macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #24
    On a patent troll's patent.
     
  25. macrumors G5

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    Jun 22, 2009
    #25
    Since you know nothing about the company (you admitted yourself) - nor the time, resources and expense of their R&D from the past - you can't possibly determine if they are a patent "troll" or not.

    But sling that word around as much as you do - and the thing that is certain is that you'll a) look ignorant and b) turn the words "patent troll" into something meaningless.

    Good luck.
     

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