updated 11:10 pm EDT, Wed March 12, 2008
Apple faces iTunes lawsuit
ZapMedia Services is suing Apple over its iPod-iTunes concept, claiming it had invented the process two years before the first iPod was sold. According to AppleInsider, the original ZapMedia has since closed its doors. ZapMedia Services is enacting the lawsuit on behalf of the former company, which comes 18 months after it began to shop for investors. Until recently, ZapMedia Services held on to but a single patent, and now carries two.
The first patent, entitled "System and method for distributing media assets to user devices via a portal synchronized by said user devices", revolves around the concept of iTunes and the iPod. The second patent, "System and method for distributing media assets to user devices and managing user rights of the media assets", resembles Apple's iTunes store structure.
ZapMedia claims in the suit that after filing for the first patent in October 2000, it displayed its idea to several major corporations, including Apple. "Without asking ZapMedia for permission, Apple subsequently unveiled its own system," the company said. "Apple announced its iPod MP3 player with an integrated iTunes software application in October of 2001 and its iTunes store in April 2003."
After a subsequent attempt to solicit Apple failed, ZapMedia filed the suit, seeking unspecified damages.