It’s Thursday right? Must be time for Apple to get sued again. Who’s turn is it now? It’s… ZapMedia. Christ – have we reached the ‘Z’s already? ZapMedia is alleging that iPods and iTunes are illegally using its patented method of distributing digital media over the internet.
Honestly, if you were to judge by all the various lawsuits that Apple’s involved in, you’d think the Steve Jobs wanders around Silicon Valley with a shaven head and an ill-fitting school uniform, towering over innocent young start-ups and demanding that they give up their patents or else he’ll deck them.
So what could possibly make up for ZapMedia’s upset and heartache? Why, a slice of the profits would be nice. The royalties on that $11 billion made from sales of iPods and iTunes last year alone would mean… let me find my calculator… quite a lot of money. Certainly the chance of getting one of the swankier cabins at Butlins anyway.
ZapMedia’s patents were apparently filed way back in 1999. One was granted in 2006, the other was only granted on Tuesday. Here’s what it covers:
“[A] media library database server application that manages access [to] a master library of media assets that can be accessed by users via one or more communication networks. A plurality of media player devices communicate with the portal to access media assets for use. Each media player device may comprise a processor that executes a database client application that manages media assets licensed for use by a user.”
No, I don’t really get a word of that either. At any rate, it hardly sounds like Apple’s the only one doing the alleged infringing here. ZapMedia has come out fighting, saying that Apple knew all about the patents, but carried on regardless “in a manner that is objectively reckless”.
Apple hasn’t commented and seldom does on these pending litigations. It was rumoured (by me) that outside Apple HQ, you could hear the faint sound of a thousand voices saying “Pfft”.
Apple (via Associated Press)