updated 06:15 pm EDT, Mon April 17, 2006
Burst countersues Apple
Burst.com 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 Burst.com. 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 Burst.com'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.
Burst.com 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.