updated 11:25 am EDT, Fri September 1, 2006
iTunes lawsuit settled
Apple has settled a lawsuit that claims it used designs from another company for its iTunes application. David Contois, owner of Contois Music & Technology, was seeking an injunction against the iTunes Music Store along with unspecified damages and legal fees, saying that Apple took the design of iTunes from his own software. Contois claims he received his patent in 1999, two years before Apple's popular iTunes Music Store launched to the masses. Contois alleged that Apple's "current or future employees" viewed his patented software at the several trade shows, and later duplicated it. Contois formally notified Apple of the patent in September of 2004, but says that Apple knew about the patent as early as January 2003. He filed his lawsuit in June of 2005; in June, both sides were arguing over terminology.
"Apple has copied the invention," according to the lawsuit. "Apple's infringement has been and continues to be willful." The suit also claimed that Contois exhibited his software to play music on a computer at industry trade shows in 1995 and 1996 in Nevada as well as California.
Macworld UK reports that the terms of the agreement were confidential: "We're glad to get back to teaching music and selling musical instruments. The terms are confidential. We can't discuss them," Dan Contois, the brother of David Contois told the publication.