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Apple to pay $3 million in damages for Japanese iPod lawsuit

updated 09:52 am EDT, Thu September 26, 2013

Amount substantially less that originally demanded

The Tokyo District Court has ordered Apple to pay $3 million in damages to a Japanese inventor, Norihiko Saito. Saito first filed a lawsuit against Apple five years ago, alleging that the clickwheel found on the Classic and some older iPods violates a patent of his. He originally called for 10 billion yen in damages, or about $101 million, based on the strength of iPod sales at the time.

Aside from the Classic and the Shuffle, the iPod lineup has completely shifted away from clickwheels in favor of touchscreens. iPods as a whole have seen a dramatic decline in business, since a growing number of people are choosing to use phones and tablets for music instead. In its most recent quarterly results call, Apple deliberately ignored publicizing iPod figures, which have become marginal next to iPhone and iPad revenues.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Zanziboy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-27-08

    Another suspicious patent. The original iPod with a click-wheel came out in 2001. The suit was filed 5 years ago in 2008. Could Norihiko Saito really claim he was unaware of the iPod until 2008? I doubt it. The claim must be pretty weak.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    When he filed the patent is (almost) irrelevant, what's important is when he got his patent. I suspect the low settlement points to the idea that Mr Saito's patent was actively "infringed" but just coincidentally overlaps Apple's idea. It's a "get rid of nuisance suit" type amount.

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