updated 12:25 pm EST, Thu November 30, 2006
Apple may seek royalties
A recent out-of-court settlement between Apple and the owner of the patent that covers the downloading of music and video could allow the Cupertino-based company to collect royalties on every music and video download. Michael Starkweather -- the attorney who wrote the patent -- suspects that the document has just overcome its first major legal victory. "I believe that, with this patent in hand, Apple will eventually be after every phone company, film maker, computer maker and video producer to pay royalties on every download of not just music but also movies and videos," said Starkweather, who wrote the patent in 1996 for a Vermont inventor who he says originally didn't show interest in patenting the idea or understand its value. The concept consisted of a desktop computer holding multiple songs with an interface allowing a hotel guest to select three songs and play them on an electric grand piano.