updated 11:30 am EST, Tue December 15, 2009
Adobe, Microsoft, others named as defendants
A company called BetaNet has filed a new lawsuit against 18 corporations -- including Apple, Adobe, Intuit and Microsoft -- accusing them of violating two patents held in relation to remote software registration. The technology in question allows a user to enter registration information into local software, and then unlock the full version of a program by communicating with a remote server.
Apple's violations are said to be specifically connected to Aperture, iTunes, MobileMe and QuickTime. Some third-party software accused of infringement includes Adobe's Acrobat, Photoshop and Creative Suite, Intuit's Quicken, QuickBooks and TurboTax, and Microsoft's Office, OneCare, Silverlight and Windows Server. Because many companies use similar installers, the lawsuit could conceivably extend to other parties.
The current case is being handled through the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division. The court is notoriously favorable towards plaintiffs in patent infringement disputes. Apple is already engaged in a number of legal battles, most prominently with Nokia, which it has countersued claiming that some products copy ideas from the iPhone.