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Apple faces Time Machine lawsuit

updated 09:35 am EDT, Fri March 21, 2008

Apple Time Machine lawsuit

Apple is now facing its first lawsuit involving Time Machine, court filings show. The Texan company Mirror Worlds has accused Apple of infringing on four patents: three of these relate directly to a "document stream operating system," while the fourth covers an attached information management system. The document streams depicted group many different file types together, arranged chronologically and in piles; this most closely resembles the Time Machine backup software in Mac OS X Leopard, but may also cover the sorting system on iPods and iPhones, for chronological items like podcasts.

Mirror Worlds elaborates on its complaint by suggesting that Apple knew of the patents as far back as 2001, although this predates the development of either podcasts or Time Machine by several years. It may be that as in ZapMedia's combination iPod/iTunes lawsuit, Mirror Worlds brought the patents to Apple for licensing, and now believes they were later copied despite being formally rejected. The former company is asking for an injunction as well as damages.

by MacNN Staff





  1. sixcolors

    Joined: Dec 1969


    how dare Apple

    How dare Apple Sort things in chronological order!

  1. guzzi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    what a country!

    Lawyers, Lawyers everywhere! How can I get in on this?

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Counter Sue

    Apple, please Count-Sue to invalidate obvious patents!

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Software patents

    I don't understand how you can patent software, software is nothing more than written language, I can understand copyrighting it, because you actually have to produce it.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    software patents

    I don't understand how you can patent software, that basically replicates a method for doing something that man has done for centuries outside the digital realm. For example: filing paper chronologically. We all have filing cabinets full of bills filed alphabetically then chronologically and have been doing that well before computers, isn't that prior art? I can't believe the US patent office gives patents for such blatantly obvious things.

  1. MeandmyMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Steve Ballmer says...

    Developers!, Developers!, Developers!, Developers!

    While Steve Jobs says...

    Lawyers!, Lawyers!, Lawyers!, Lawyers!

    If either man HAD any hair, I think it would have been pulled out by now!

  1. Deal

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple's Stance

    Apple clearly rejected it, so they know that they can beat it.

    All they really need is some prior art and Apple doesn't have to look too far for that—just take a look back to HyperCard. It stacks data, one card on top of another in any order you choose, including chronological.

    Stupid lawsuit, stupid patent.

  1. legacyb4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    May as well

    take all the other backup software companies to court as well since any package that allows for file revisions does the same thing.

  1. Kainzow

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You reap what you sow

    Apple does the very same thing all the time - usually bullying small, complementary companies. And they don't always win either.

    Sadly, these corporate egomaniacs have yet to realize that the ONLY parties who benefit are the lawyers.

    This sums it up nicely:

  1. dwoodruff

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Haven't they heard?

    I own the patent on discovering previous patents and copyrights and filing said complaints before a system of arbitration or judgement.

    I'm gonna use my patent on all of them.

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