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Hybrid Audio sues Apple, Dell, HTC over MP3 processing

updated 01:55 pm EST, Wed December 22, 2010

Hybrid Audio sues Apple, Dell and HTC

Hybrid Audio LLC late Tuesday joined in a spate of recent lawsuits by suing Apple, Dell and HTC. The Tyler, Texas-based complaint accuses all three of violating a patent for processing MP3 songs using a tree-structured array. The lawsuit claimed that Apple's iPad, iPhone 4, iPod nano, iTunes and MacBook Pro all violate the patent; Dell's Adamo, Alienware, Inspiron, Studio and XPS systems have been similarly named, as have its Aero smartphone, the Streak tablet and HTC's Evo 4G.

Unlike a lawsuit from Monday, the patent is still active and itself was a reissue of a patent originally filed in 1997 by a different company, Aware.

The lawsuit doesn't target MP3 use as a whole, which could have triggered a confrontation with MP3 pioneer Fraunhofer. It also didn't set any specific licensing requirements and instead suggested just an injunction banning sale. Such calls are usually an attempt to force a settlement before it gets to trial.

Hybrid Audio's filing has the traditional characteristics of a patent troll. The company has no known online presence or shipping products, and many patent lawsuits are filed in Tyler and otherwise in Eastern District of Texas courts knowing that they tend to side with patent holders. [via Florian Mueller]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Sebastien

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yet Another Patent Troll

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ah, But Hybrid Audio LLC ...

    ... is a Happy Holidays Patent Troll. They're a lot more festive.

  1. redcapzero

    Joined: Dec 1969


    only in the "Lone Star"...

    ...can a repo-man get blown away and the shooter walk due to some obscure "horse thief" law written back in the 1800's; goodness, and most thought us Cali natives were of the caliber, "fruits & nuts", go figure.


    Merry Christmas to All !!!

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Die patent troll die! Hopefully by falling into their fireplace.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The lawsuit doesn't target MP3 use as a whole, which could have triggered a confrontation with MP3 pioneer Fraunhofer.

    Of course it doesn't. They want to beat the others in court, then take those wins against Fraunhofer and say "You're codec violates our patent. Pay us."

    But I'm still trying to figure out how one can have an array and call it a tree.

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