Microsoft sued for European Music Service

Fender2112

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2002
1,087
295
Charlotte, NC
Are there any details on what this patent actually is? This might explain why Apple hasn't released iTunes in Europe yet.

I have to question this patent though. Without the details, it seems far fetched that a company can patent the the transfer of information from point A to point B.

Maybe I'll see if I can get patents for the chemical componds NaCl and H2O. :rolleyes:
 

mrsebastian

macrumors 6502a
Nov 26, 2002
744
0
sunny san diego
i was thinking exactly the same same thing fender as to why apple hasn't started itms in europe. though i don't know market numbers for music sales in europe and what we're missing (i'm an apple stock holder), i'm very happy to hear of the "music" event apple will have on thursday. that's where their first focus should be, to take over the american market with itunes and itms.
 

cc bcc

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2001
470
0
nl
Originally posted by Fender2112
Are there any details on what this patent actually is? This might explain why Apple hasn't released iTunes in Europe yet.
If this has stopped Apple from introducing iTMS Europe, they would have known about the patent. MS probably would have known too. I think it's just a coincidence, a good one for Apple. But if this is the reason for the iTMS Europe delay, will we have to wait until 2005 for the patent to run out and iTMS to arrive?
I think it's unlikely.
 

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Apr 12, 2001
49,579
10,893
Microsoft sued for European Music Service

According to this CNet article, Long Island-based E-Data has filed suit against Microsoft over their new music download service in Europe.

The company's patent reportedly covers "the transmission of information to a remote point-of-sale location, where information is then transferred to a material object", which the company claims describes the process of downloading music and burning to CD-R.

The patent expired in January 2003 in the United States which means Apple's iTunes Service, launched in April 2003, will not likely be the target of a lawsuit.
 

Photorun

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2003
1,216
0
NYC
To quote Nelson from the Simpson "Hah hahhh" [points at Microsoft]

Seems like a silly patent but hey, if someone can sue Microsoft and (doubtful but hopefully) take that swill of a company for some cash it's cool in my book. Not like Microsoft doesn't have cash issues and it's certainly cost the world billions in sub par software for eons. Hope they win the suit for as much as they can milk 'em.
 

dongmin

macrumors 68000
Jan 3, 2002
1,708
0
Just goes to show how inept the American patent system is. Not that I'm cheering for MS but this suit needs to go away.
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,442
5,097
Canada
??

In Europe the patent laws are vastly more relaxed than the states.

You cannot patent software, so I'm surprised this law suit is going ahead.

For example, I could add amazons "One Click" feature (without licensing from Amazon) to my e-shop and there is nothing Amazon could do as along as I stopped US internet users from accessing my site.
 

tny

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2003
394
37
Washington, DC
Originally posted by cc bcc
If this has stopped Apple from introducing iTMS Europe, they would have known about the patent. MS probably would have known too. I think it's just a coincidence, a good one for Apple. But if this is the reason for the iTMS Europe delay, will we have to wait until 2005 for the patent to run out and iTMS to arrive?
I think it's unlikely.
Probably Apple could, if they wished, license the patent from E Data. Licensing a patent is always cheaper than losing a patent violation suit. But it would more likely be in Apple's best interest if the patent were shown to be irrelevant (i.e., if MS were to win).

IANAL.
 

Uragon

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2002
178
0
Originally posted by jxyama
what a ridiculous patent... nuff said. :rolleyes:
though it sounds ridiculous, but it seems that E-date have settled or won against some companies.
 

dwishbone

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2002
240
0
On the Moon
this patent sounds stupid. that could be anything. hell buying shareware could be a violation of this patent. you buy it online. you use it on your computer. you can burn it to a cd or any other media. dumb patent.

this has nothing to do with iTMS for Europe. as i understand it the reason for iTMS' delay in Canada, Europe, and Japan is that the copyright laws are different in those countries and Apple has to get all the legalities worked out there.
 

mainstreetmark

macrumors 68020
May 7, 2003
2,228
293
Saint Augustine, FL
Originally posted by Uragon
though it sounds ridiculous, but it seems that E-date have settled or won against some companies.
This company appears to be in the business of collecting royalties from it's patents and that's about it. Came up with some good, inevitable ideas and threw a patent on it.

Kind of like RCA back in the days of radio.
 

mdntcallr

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2000
1,467
135
Not that i am a huge fan of microsoft, Love Halo and Office though, But honestly, this patent suit is ridiculous against them.

In no way should downloading a song and burning it to cd after purchase be something that they need to pay this lil company for.

At this point that idea, which is not novel, shouldnt be covered by a patent.
 

joeyjojoe

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2003
197
0
Los Angeles, CA
I'm sick of people expressing their MS hatred. We get it. You bought a mac because you don't like Microsoft (well some of you anyway). Microsoft is only powerful because you or consumers like you choose to purchase their products ... end of story (yes I believe in Lassiez Faire, thanks for asking).

The suit is ridiculous. I could file patent on a program that makes your screen turn green, and then every time an RGB command is made, I could sue the manufacturer of the monitor/computer.
 

jxyama

macrumors 68040
Apr 3, 2003
3,735
1
the reason i said it's stupid is not because the patent itself sounded stupid... patent is meant to protect the inventor and thus spur inventions... however, when a patent issued nearly 20 years ago is applied so broadly to a fast advancing technological field, it's doing nothing to spur inventions.

it sounds as if this company was issued a very broad patent applied to the process of remote sales transfered to a physical media concept. 20 years ago, we didn't even have wide spread use of CD-ROM, much less CD-R. to have patent applied to technology/process that was virtually non-existent is ridiculous because non-existent does not equal non-obvious, as a patent should be.

this patent should have been far better defined and should not have been issued in such a form to be applicable to situations that was completely unforeseen at the time of "invention." if the inventor himself couldn't foresee its applicability, it's not a part of his "invention."
 

rvernout

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2003
57
0
Amsterdam
Re: Agreed

Originally posted by onemoof
That does sound like a stupid patent. It doesn't take any genius to come up with it so it shouldn't be a patent.
Much can be discussed about the legitimacy of the patent system as it is now (and as a patent attorney I will be happy to start one), but the above remark seems a bit too easy to me.

Imagine yourself in the early 80's. Your business is to develop new marketing concepts making use of new technologies, and you have a vision of a complete new concept for selling music to the public, involving a network (a direct telephone connection? internet did not exist yet...) through which information is sent to a store, where the information is recorded on an information carrier (music cassette? recordable CDs did not exist yet...) and sold to the public. A very obvious concept indeed for that time.... not.

In order to be able to develop your concept into a business, which requires huge investments because the technology is not readily available yet, you want to protect your idea, so you apply for a patent, and invest at least US$ 30.000 to establish protection in both the US and Europe. Despite your attempts to market the concept, 15 years later the return on your investment is still zero. Nevertheless you pay the annual fees required to maintain your patents in all the seperate countries, a total of several thousands of dollars per year, apparently because you still believe in the concept.

Then finally, in 2003, your idea is copied (at least sort of, there are no physical stores involved) and implemented on a big scale, and some big money is made..... by others.

Unfortunately your patent has expired in the US in the meantime, and your patents in Europe will lapse VERY soon because of maximum duration... Lucky you...

Also, for a company like Apple, this could have been an opportunity to buy the patent rights for a fair amount, and be able to develop and invest in its iTunes Music Store for a while without being "shamelessly" (and badly) copied.

(Interesting point in view of this case: in several countries the patentee looses its rights when, after a defined number of years from the application date, the invention is not exploited in practice)
 

3.1416

macrumors regular
Apr 16, 2003
159
0
Re: Re: Agreed

Originally posted by rvernout

Then finally, in 2003, your idea is copied
I really don't think "copied" is the word, because that idea now obvious given the advances in technology. It would have been done whether or not this company had applied for an obscure patent 20 years ago. In this case, and many others, patents are clearly not "advancing the useful arts and sciences", but simply being used for extortion.
 

peterj1967

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2002
181
0
Sounds like you need to charge for copying the file onto media other then a hard drive, such as a CD, to infringe on the patent.

From the article

"(Those companies) are offering downloads of music over the Internet, which can be downloaded onto CDs for a fee,"

So maybe it doesn't apply to iTMS, since you get charged to download the file and the copying the file to CD is free. Other services have an additional charge if you copy the file to an mp3 player or CD.

Just a thought...
 

SeaFox

macrumors 68030
Jul 22, 2003
2,548
814
Somewhere Else
Re: Re: Re: Agreed

Originally posted by 3.1416
I really don't think "copied" is the word, because that idea now obvious given the advances in technology. It would have been done whether or not this company had applied for an obscure patent 20 years ago. In this case, and many others, patents are clearly not "advancing the useful arts and sciences", but simply being used for extortion.
Sounds like a good money-maker.

I think I'll get a patent on "a vehicle or other contraption used for the transport people that does not produce any major environmental polutants." So when we eventually figure out the alternative for fossil fuels, I can collect a royalty.

I won't mention this when they're designing the cars. I'll wait until they've sold a million or so and then file my suit.
 

kenaustus

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2003
372
11
Legal illiterate I may be, but I can see the difference in finding a different way to carry out a process in order to avoid a patent and simply copying the patent.

If MS copied the company's intellectual efforts covered by the patent then let them pay. If, however, they independently developed a method of achieving the same results without infringing on the patent then the suit is going to die.
 
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