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Burst countersues Apple over patents

updated 06:15 pm EDT, Mon April 17, 2006

Burst countersues Apple today said it has filed patent infringement counterclaims against Apple. The AP reports that the counterclaims, filed in the Federal District Court in San Francisco, allege that Apple's iTunes store, software and iPod devices infringe upon four patents owned by The company is seeking royalty fees from Apple and an injunction against further infringement. The new counterclaims follow a mutually agreed upon extension by both parties, which allowed Burst to respond to a suit filed by Apple in January of this year. Seeking declaratory relief, Apple in January filed a lawsuit in San Francisco, alleging patent invalidity or non-infringement. Burst said that the lawsuit followed a breakdown in protracted negotiations for issuance of a license of Burst's patents to cover Apple's iPod and iTunes products.

In its April 17 filing, Burst alleges that its technology has been essential to Apple's success, providing it with a critical audio and video-on-demand media delivery solution.

"We have a responsibility to protect our patents and to seek a fair return for the many years and tremendous investment that we have made in developing Burst technology and patents," said's Chairman & CEO Richard Lang.

Burst alleges that Apple's iTunes Music Store, iTunes software, the iPod devices, and Apple's QuickTime Streaming products infringe Burst's U.S. Patents 4,963,995; 5,995,705; 5,057,932 and 5,164,839. is represented by San Francisco law firm Hosie McArthur, who also represented Burst in its successful litigation against Microsoft.

In March 2005, Microsoft settled that litigation by paying Burst $60 million for a non-exclusive license to Burst's patents. Burst has also expanded its legal team in the Apple litigation to include attorneys from the Seattle office of Susman Godfrey, LLP, as well as Houston-based intellectual property firm Heim, Payne & Chorush, LLP. Also representing Burst is Palo Alto-based intellectual property firm Carr & Ferrell, LLP.

by MacNN Staff




  1. jhorvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yet another company

    Yet another company trying to get rich quick off of Apple's good fortunes. Apple must have doubled there legal staff by now with all of these get rich quick off of Apple lawsuits.

  1. jhorvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Amazing how many

    It's simply amazing how many companies suddenly think they own this or that part of Apple's iTunes since it has reached it's popularity point and market share. If all of these companies new of all of this and had it in there own hands why the h*** didn't they put it out on the market already? Because they didn't, that's why.

  1. JoeE

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Continuing the precedent

    I fear that many more lawsuits of this nature will arise. The precedent being the Blackberry lawsuit.

    Unfortunately, I cannot help but be pessimistic about the outcome of the case: Cash settlement to Burst, as Microsoft was forced into. So, to me, it just sounds like a get richer quickly scheme that either the lawyer or company has initiated.

    I'm hoping that new laws are passed to patch up this legal loophole that patent holders and their lawyers have discovered. This is just as bad as the kids blaming McDonald's for their obesity.

  1. kvocal

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Innovate, don't salivate

    I do not think Burst has a leg to stand on. Looks to me that Burst is pulling a fast one here. Read the Abstract an tell me what you think. To me they are describing Tivo or some other set-top box not iTunes or iPod. If the patent holds up they will own the right to any transmission of video to a computer over the internet. For shame. Innovate, don't salivate (over the profits of others).

    Audio/video transceiver apparatus including compression means

    Burst transmission apparatus and method for audio/video information

    Audio/video transceiver apparatus including compression means, random access storage means, and microwave transceiver means

    Method for handling audio/video source information

  1. Enigmaaron

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How do companies actually get these patents approved? They come up with broad concepts and somehow own the rights to it. This "company" essentially patented the concept of buffering streaming content along with using multiple streams. WOW! How about we only patent tangible products not f*$#ing concepts. I think I'm going to go patent the concept of delivering electricity wirelessly along with a handful of other futuristic ideas and make billions in 30 years by suing someone.

  1. lockhartt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Wireless Electricity

    Been done... Nikolai Tesla, around 1899.

  1. Albert

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Breathe this...

    I've got the patent on breathing.

    You no owe me all your wealth aquired while utilizing my propriatary technique, plue interest...

    My next evil patent is on air, which I also invented without you help, which also covers water, rock and fire...

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