Apple faces lawsuit over iTunes, iPod, more

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.

  1. climacs 03/12, 11:30pm

    Zugg the Caveman filed an Eleventy-Trillion dollar lawsuit against Ford, GM, Toyota, Daimler, and all other major automobile manufacturers worldwide for patent infringement. In the filing, Zugg's attorneys claimed Zugg had invented the wheel approximately 20,000 years ago. "Mr. Zugg filed for a patent with the Neanderthal Patent Office regarding a, "rotary device which enables more efficient travel over ground" in approximately 18,000 B.C.

    When a reporter pointed out to Zugg that cavemen had not yet invented the civilization necessary to have such a thing as a patent office let alone the concept of intellectual property rights, Zugg smashed his skull in with a large rock.

  1. Foe Hammer 03/13, 01:29am

    If that suit was filed in a Zap!, I'd hate to see what would have happened had they waited.

  1. ViktorCode 03/13, 02:20am

    ZapMedia don't have any product of their own based on this patent?

  1. exca1ibur 03/13, 04:06am

    The company died in the late 90's, they had the patents for sale it seems.

    I just want to know why did it take them five years to figure this out?

  1. michaele 03/13, 07:55am

    they are morons with a failed business listening to some shyster lawyer who thinks he might make a bundle off of this by extorting Apple to pay them off and then they can crawl back under the slimy rock where they have been up to now.

  1. eldarkus 03/13, 09:57am

    PLEASE.. Kill the US patent system.

  1. 64stang06 03/13, 10:22am

    I agree. It took 5 years because 5 years ago is when the iTunes Music Store opened and no one thought it would be profitable. 5 years later, Apple sells 5 billion songs and now Zap realizes that it's time to capitalize.

  1. manleycreative 03/13, 10:46am

    Yes, it's best to get those lawsuits in as late as possible to make sure you cover as many patent infringments as possible.

    Apple has the money and the product because they don't wait a day nor a dolla short!

  1. testudo 03/13, 10:55am

    It's been almost a month since Apple's been sued. What's the deal here, anyway?? Maybe they're less of a target now that te stock price has tanked?

    However, there's still the standard rebuttals.

    The company died in the late 90's, they had the patents for sale it seems.

    Well, if the company died in the late 90's, how did they file, and later show off, the patent in October 2000.

    ZapMedia don't have any product of their own based on this patent?

    There has never been a requirement to have your own product. What if they were working on one, trying to drum up venture capital, and then have it all swept out from under them by Apple?

    And if there was some requirement that said "Make a product in 2 years or the patent becomes public", then many large companies will just try to keep them from releasing a product to get their hands on the patent and use it without paying money.

  1. manleycreative 03/13, 10:56am

    This just in. Apple is also being sued for the use of the leaf in their apple logo by a company called Fig Leaf Technologies Inc. who claims they indeed had a copyright on the leaf as a logo device first. Leaves Company, a company with similar logo aspirations could not be reached for comment as to whether they would join in the lawsuit.

    So far, Apple has only released a brief statement saying, "We will show them where they can stick their leaves." Originally, Apple thought to say, "They should just make like trees and leave." was deemed too passe by Steve Jobs who values innovation above just doing things the usual way. Jobs followed up with a statement, "Our leaf does not have multiple fronds but is football in shape and rather pleasing to the eye. Also, it is attached to an APPLE! Their leaves by comparison are BORING!"

    Jobs also used this opportunity to respond to allegations that his company used too many screws in the MacBook Air design saying, "I'll show them where they can stick their screws."

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