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Who's suing Apple today? ZapMedia gets angry over iTunes

Nilay Patel
03.13.08
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Another day, another furious litigant claiming that an Apple product infringes on one of their patents. Today we've got ZapMedia, who's having some fun with a patent granted Tuesday by claiming that it covers tech used in both the iPod and iTunes. The patent describes a central media server and a "plurality of media player devices" that access the server over various networks -- but it was filed for on September 20th, 2005, which, you'll note, is after the 2003 launch of the iTunes Store. Hmm, not to worry, ZapMedia also says it has an almost identical 2006 patent filed for in 2000 -- but that patent, as far as a quick USPTO search shows, hasn't been assigned to ZapMedia, instead remaining with Kenneth Liscomb and several other individuals also listed on the new patent. What's more, ZapMedia has apparently been shopping the earlier patent for over a year now to no avail -- doesn't seem like anyone's interested, now does it?

Disclaimer: Nilay's a lawyer, but he's not your lawyer, and none of this, particularly the quick USPTO searching part, is legal advice or analysis.

Read - ZapMedia lawsuit article
Read - ZapMedia patent issued yesterday ("System and method for distributing media assets to user devices and managing user rights of the media assets")
Read - ZapMedia patent issued in 2006 ("System and method for distributing media assets to user devices via a portal synchronized by said user devices")

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