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Companies Claim iTMS, iPod Patent Infringement

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the willie-sutton-working-overtime dept.

Patents 506

ryan_fung writes "A Hong Kong based company, Pat-rights, is claiming that Apple's iTunes Music Store is infringing their patent on 'Internet User Identity Verification' and is demanding Apple pay 'a reasonable license fee, 12% of gross sales of iTunes music tracks and iPods.'" (They also claim infringement by eBay, porn sites, and others.) Reader bblazer links to a Register article which mentions both the Pat-Rights claim and another suit entirely. From the article: "Apple has found itself facing a pair of intellectual property challenges that separately claim its FairPlay DRM system and its iPod music player contain technologies to which the Mac maker does not have a right. First up, Lake Forest, Illinois-based Advanced Audio Devices (AAD) alleges its patent, number 6,587,403, for a 'music jukebox,' filed in August 2000 but granted in July 2003, covers the kind of thing Apple has brought to market as the iPod."

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..in august 2000 (3, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873131)

I already had my rio.

which still works,btw..

(does the patent say something about hd then or something? seems like you can patent just about anything)

Re:..in august 2000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873150)

You are in violation of the patent right now!

You were a verified user "gl4ss" on site "slashdot.org", which last I checked was on the internet...

(Posting anonymously to avoid violating this clearly beneficial patent!)

prior art (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873176)

ok, so there is obviously prior art for a portable music player.

Does that matter? Prolly not.

Re:..in august 2000 (5, Insightful)

pbranes (565105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873209)

Read the article dude. They are claiming a patent on user login. Straight from their site:

Everyone knows that iTunes allows a user to play purchased music tracks to up to 5 computers, without repeated payment, under the condition that the computers are registered. The computer registration involves a process of identity verification in which a user is required to key in into the computer the correct Apple ID and password he used to purchase the song. This is certainly a patentable technology. If iTunes does not patent it, there must be a very good reason for them not to do so- someone else has patented this.

This company is patenting USER LOGINS OVER THE INTERNET ! This is a basic, fundamental technology of today's Internet. Obviously they are full of crap, but how do we stop patent-whoring companies who can steamroller anyone using the US Court system?

Re:..in august 2000 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873228)

Perhaps you should read the writeup, to which he was responding.

"First up, Lake Forest, Illinois-based Advanced Audio Devices (AAD) alleges its patent, number 6,587,403, for a 'music jukebox,' filed in August 2000 but granted in July 2003, covers the kind of thing Apple has brought to market as the iPod."

Re:..in august 2000 (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873242)

Ever heard of Musicmatch Jukebox or WinAmp?

It's called Prior Art.

Re:..in august 2000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873261)

Why are you responding to me? I'm merely pointing out a Jackass that has the fucking audacity to say "Read the Article" when he obviously hasn't even read the writeup. I make no claims on the veracity of AAD's claims.

Re:..in august 2000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873276)

aha I see. The rage is uncontrollable, sorry.

Re:..in august 2000 (1)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873349)

"Music Jukebox". Haven't they've been around more than fifty years?

Re:..in august 2000 (2, Insightful)

Taladar (717494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873234)

but how do we stop patent-whoring companies who can steamroller anyone using the US Court system?
Simple, by steamrolling the US Court System (and the rest of the government along with it) first?

Re:..in august 2000 (2, Insightful)

damiam (409504) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873297)

Read the summary, dude. The parent was referring to a different patent suit, the one over portable jukeboxes.

Re:..in august 2000 (1)

cowboy_ein (646822) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873338)

If the company is patenting user logins over the internet, then why are they demanding 12% of the sales of iPods too? This just not make any sense to me at all..

Re:..in august 2000 (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873388)

My father purchased a rio 500 for me the first year they were released. A testament to the popularity of the rio 500 was the fact that it was ordered in november of 99 (X-Mas present) and it wasn't off backorder (direct from Diamond) until sometime around may.

So yeah I guess I had one in August 2000, still I remember being pissed it took so damn long to get one.

Not dissimilar to the problems people have had with the original Ipod and more recently the Ipod mini.

Still, this guy hasn't got a leg to stand on. The rio 300 was out late 98 early 99 if I remember, even if it wasn't as popular it's good prior art.

Arg (4, Insightful)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873133)

I'm so sick of this shit.

Re:Arg (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873141)

Me too.

Shout-outs to Professor Ward "Nigger Cunt" Churchill.

Re:Arg (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873152)

My sentiments exactly. Good holy shit!

Arg-A Crappy Patent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873222)

"I'm so sick of this shit."

I'm sorry. Shit's patented too. Pay up.

Wow (4, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873134)

So they can't come up with their own products, they just decided to sue Apple?

Ohh and a patent for a digital jukebox? Hello ever hard of the Nomad Jukebox?!?

Ohh and then, umm 12% of sales form iPods? Holy shit thats a lot of fricking money...

Re:Wow (1, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873148)

Ohh and this is just another reason why software patents are completely useless... Just used to stifle competition completely.

They really need to do something about software patents, like set them to only 3 years.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873343)

Not in this case. This has nothing to do with suppressing competition, since "Pat Rights" or whatever doesn't have a music download service nor do they manufacture a music player ... they just have a patent. So this isn't an anti-competitive measure at all. It's just a blatant attempt to extort money from a successful company, and that makes it even worse.

But you're right ... something does need to be done about software patents. As in "eliminating them completely." So far as improving the economic health of the nation, or "promoting the useful arts and sciences" goes, or indeed anything other than "enriching the few at the expense of the many" they serve no purpose and should never have been permitted.

Re:Wow (1, Troll)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873403)

Maybe they should pull an SCO and start suing iPod owners and people who buy music from iTMS.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873423)

Well ... if the courts and/or Congress needed a reason to rethink the whole idea of software patents, this is certainly a good one. So they want to force Apple to license their "patent", and pay a twelve percent fee for the privilege. Is that off the top or after taxes? Either way, that would probably eliminate any incentive Apple would have to continue in that market. *poof* No more iPods, no more iTunes ... probably no more portable music players since this outfit would presumably go after anyone else in that market if they are successful with Apple.

In the same vein as Microsoft's indirect funding of SCO to make trouble for the competition, Apple should follow the money here too. Is this strictly about enforcing a probably-bogus patent in order to extract money from a successful company (can you say, "submarine"?) or is this an attempt by a third party to bring Apple to heel. Seems kind of fishy right on the heels of the RIAA wanting to jack up iTunes prices. In fact, speaking of the RIAA, and assuming that Apple were to lose this case ... what would you bet that the RIAA would buy that patent outright, and only license "oligopoly friendly" players after that?

is this applicable? (5, Insightful)

Mr.Coffee (168480) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873136)

Verbatim, the second line of the article is: "Pat-rights named the technology as 'Internet/Remote User Identity Verification', earned a US Patent 6,665,797 therefor, and world-wide patents pending"

now, i'm not a patent lawyer, but since this company is based in hong-kong, and has no worldwide patents, wouldn't that mean that the patent does not apply? or is an overseas company holding a us patent still able to enforce it's us patents from offshore?

Re:is this applicable? (1)

zurtle (785688) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873180)

Of course it is, there are non-US companies that operate in the US... don't they deserve to not have their products pirated by US companies?

I'm sure the BMW would have something to say if someone set up a "BMW" factory next door to their US one...

Re:is this applicable? (4, Insightful)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873227)

I believe you're confusing "trademark" with "patent". BMW has the exclusive right to make cars called "BMW", but they are NOT trying to claim an exclusive right to make cars period.

Re:is this applicable? (1)

zurtle (785688) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873244)

I chose an IP example, not a patent example...

There's more to IP than just patents, buddy!!

Re:is this applicable? (5, Insightful)

damiam (409504) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873345)

There's more to IP than just patents, buddy!!

Actually, there's nothing to IP whatsoever; IP is a meaningless concept. Trademark, copyright, and patent law are distinct entities with different rules and purposes. It's fallacious to lump them together under "IP". Your statement about trademark law is almost entirely irrelevant when we're talking about patents.

That said, your basic point was correct; non-US companies can file US patents (as well as trademarks and presumably copyrights) as long as they have a US presence.

The actual patent link (5, Informative)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873218)

The actual patent is interesting to read. Click here to read it [uspto.gov]

Re:is this applicable? (2, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873247)

is an overseas company holding a us patent still able to enforce it's us patents from offshore?

About 50% of US patents are granted to foreign companies. However they can't enforce them from offshore, they have to sue in US court.

By world-wide patents they mean patents granted by other countries, say Australia, Japan, Canada etc. There is no one all-encompasing single worldwaide patent.

Re:is this applicable? (1)

Reality_X (23422) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873376)

The US patent is enforcable in any country upholding the WIPO agreement.

Re:is this applicable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873424)

Patent treaties.

Not a laughing matter anymore. (4, Interesting)

sanityspeech (823537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873153)

I guess the "patent pending" avatar used in the story was a tongue-in-cheek joke when it was created. However, with these kind of stories, I fear that it may someday become a reality.

I hope breathing fresh air is never patented.

from the willie-sutton-working-overtime dept...

Q: Who is Willie Sutton?

A: This is Willie Sutton. [fbi.gov]

Re:Not a laughing matter anymore. (1)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873193)

I hope breathing fresh air is never patented.

What's the use in patenting it if we can't get it any more?

Re:Not a laughing matter anymore. (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873219)

Breathing fresh air won't be an option in the future. You'll have the options of industrial waste air or the new patented techni-filtered air.

This is sad. (5, Insightful)

natrius (642724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873155)

Reading the linked claim made me want to cry. Based on the reasons they say Apple is infringing on their patent, they must have patented password protection. Or at least password protection over the internet. Novel. The article's worth reading though. It made me giggle and tear up at the same time. Not many things do that.

Re:This is sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873258)

It made me giggle and tear up at the same time. Not many things do that.

Apparently having sex with me does that. Or at least it does for my girlfriend :(

Re:This is sad. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873459)

You know ... I really didn't need to know that.

Suspicious (5, Interesting)

kebes (861706) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873162)

Is it just me, or is it kinda suspicious that these companies are only getting angry now. I mean, iTunes/iPod is new and hip, but it's been around long enough for other companies to notice patent violations earlier. Seems like these companies only decided to file suits once they saw how much money was being made off the idea (whereas their somewhat similar patent was a total waste...). On a first pass, it sounds like silly lawsuits that will go nowhere.

Re:Suspicious (1)

zurtle (785688) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873271)

The time lapsed may have been time taken to get patent lawyers to check it out and see if there is a violation!

It's like Guantanamo terrorists being held till the US finds enough evidence to make sure they can convict them.........

Rule number 1: wait for the right moment to strike (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873292)

Mugging: you don't go thump the tourist while he's jogging in the park (maybe get a watch and some smelly sneakers), you wait until he's gone back to the hotel for breakfast and comes out again with his camera, Rolex and a wad of cash.

Similarly, if you're going to go litigate against a company for IP damages, you wait for the right moment to strike.

Wait until they've sold many units. This way you can claim the most damages ("By selling xxx units, Apple prevented us from selling xxx units"). And you get the biggest licensing fee since this will be on a per-unit basis.

You also wait until they are vulnerable. When they're trying to roll out a new service that's all hyped up, Apple are more likely to want to settle quickly than have their product stalled by court injunctions etc causing their product to flop.

Difference in 'reasonable' (2, Interesting)

Staplerh (806722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873166)

So the company wants "Apple [to] pay 'a reasonable license fee, 12% of gross sales of iTunes music tracks and iPods."

Hmm, who wants to bet that their version of reasonable differs from their view? That is an outrageously large amount. Let's examine their claim.. From the blog (complete with poorly written English):

It is related to using a payment account information to verify the identity of a user, the payment account may be a credit account, before providing the user access to computer software/apparatus.

Probably you have use it before .

Certainly sounds like their dubious claim is worth 12%, eh? Does anybody think this is legitimate, and shouldn't be laughed out of court ASAP? Basically, they can't even be bothered to formulate their case well - the article is actually worth reading in this case, if only for a chuckle.

Re:Difference in 'reasonable' (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873254)

Looking at the patent there is a bit of prior art to it. Apple can afford to fight this one so they prolly will.

It's sad that another patent with prior art has to be handled in the courts because of the USPO.

Re:Difference in 'reasonable' (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873314)

Certainly sounds like their dubious claim is worth 12%, eh? Does anybody think this is legitimate, and shouldn't be laughed out of court ASAP? Basically, they can't even be bothered to formulate their case well - the article is actually worth reading in this case, if only for a chuckle.
These guys are clowns. There is no way 12% of gross can be considered reasonable. And the fact that they state their demands publically - when has an IP claimant ever stated their proposed licensing terms in public? Laughable.

Outstanding (3, Interesting)

panxerox (575545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873170)

Perhaps we will get some action now on dealing with the concept patent issue. Piss off enough of the company's that actually (unfortunalty) run this country and they might have to fix it despite themselves. (IMHO,IANAL)

Re:Outstanding (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873216)

Piss off enough of the company's that actually (unfortunalty) run this country

I think the problem here is that Apple *doesn't* actually run the country. Al Gore lost, remember.

haha, this is hilarious (1)

nighthawk127127 (848761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873172)

let's see here: infringement by apple (ipods), ebay, and porn sites... some extremely profitable names there, and they all happen to be "infringing" on these guys...

bullshit patent (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873174)

Why the hell did the patent office grant such an obvious patant. What kind of crack are they smoking. I mean shit, kerberos is an Identity management system. It's used for Single-Sign-on all over the place for electronic commerce.

Re:bullshit patent (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873342)

I think the point of the patent is that you have to give a credit card number which is verified along with your registration data to confirm you are who you say you are. Also for the pr0n, having a credit card is supposed to demonstrate you are an adult.

I'll agree with you though, that some things are just so obvious that it defies belief the PO would grant a patent. And a music jukebox? Come on, every seen Happy Days?

BTW, I patent "God".

Re:bullshit patent (2, Insightful)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873412)

Because they got paid.

This introduces a nice catch 22 situation.

- Patent office is so overloaded they rubber stamp most applications without due research.
- Companies realize this and flood patent office with useless patents that will get rubber stamped because of so many applications to process.
- Rince, repeat.

In other news (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873177)

Large ball of flaming light appears in eastern sky

Object thrown into air eventually comes back down

Longhorn delayed

Music jukebox? (1)

chrisgeleven (514645) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873183)

I remember using MusicMatch at least as far back as 1999...if not longer. I'm sure there were other jukebox programs that date further back.

Great! (4, Insightful)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873184)

The more big companies that get sued for patent infringment, the faster the law will change.

Go scum, inflict some pain!

How ironic (5, Interesting)

offensiveweapon (761301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873185)

Does anyone else find it incredibly ironic that a Hong Kong-based company is suddenly concerned about patent and IP rights, when China as a whole often turns a blind eye to the whole matter? Yes, I know Hong Kong is a special case within China, but still...talk about a double standard here...

Internet/Remote User Identity Verification (3, Insightful)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873186)

Internet/Remote User Identity Verification

So much for ssh, telnet, FTP, terminal services, and remote desktop.

These patent lawsuits must stop. They're getting ridiculous.

Re:Internet/Remote User Identity Verification (1)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873251)

These patent lawsuits must stop. They're getting ridiculous.

I hope they grow exponentially. Once every business discovers they can't even type on a keyboard without paying a fee for the "method for entering symbols on a plastic interface and converting to binary numbers" patent maybe they'll lobby to get rid of the damned things.

"Core" Support. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873352)

"These patent lawsuits must stop. They're getting ridiculous."

Buy an Apple computer. Help support Apple's legal defense.

Re:Internet/Remote User Identity Verification (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873382)

Would it kill you to read the damn patent instead of just conjecturing from the title? IANAL, but I can't see any way you could construe this patent as applying to any of those things.

Plain English (3, Insightful)

mv2s (729020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873192)

From the "press release":

The US Patent 6,665,797 is written in plain English, even a layman can read and understand it.

Too bad the press release isn't in plain English.

Wow, just wow. (1)

PepeGSay (847429) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873195)

This is almost the mother of all bogus patents. They patented the "login" as far as I can tell. Revolutionary. Very Revolutionary. Looks like a patent date of 2003? I bet no one implemented a "login" earlier than that.

Prior Art? (1)

Jsutton1027w (757650) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873199)

Didn't people use these types of varification systems before 1998 (the date of the patent's filing )? I imagine that the pr0n sites would be the most likely candidates....Not that I go to those, or anything.....

Patentable Technology? (2, Insightful)

derEikopf (624124) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873202)

The computer registration involves a process of identity verification in which a user is required to key in into the computer the correct Apple ID and password he used to purchase the song. This is certainly a patentable technology.

It shouldn't be.

User names and passwords go back to at least the 60's, if not earlier.

Woo! (5, Funny)

theparanoidcynic (705438) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873211)

Time for Apple's Ninja Attack Lawyers to do something productive! They've been kinda bored and . . . . suey lately. Now they'll be distracted kicking an ass that deserves it for awhile.

patent (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873214)

anyone really read the patent? seems to me (and i'm not patent attorney) that "digital music jukebox" makers could sue anyone they wanted...so why go after Apple? why not go after everyone?

Re:patent (1)

d0wnr11g3r (593472) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873294)

Apple is by far the most profitable and has the highest visibility of anyone playing this particular market - you generally don't go after companies who don't have the pockets to cover your claimed damages unless you're trying to compete - they aren't and are merely trying to profit off of what they saw as an opportunity to captialize on something that hadn't been covered by a patent. Since they can't actually offer a product and service of their own(and knew this) they use the "law" to try and get rich.

frankly, they're just throwing their own money away on lawyers - both patents have tons of prior art and will likely be thrown out of court. that doesn't however stop them from trying and making some noise. they're simply all bark and no bite...they lost their teeth at least 5 years before they even filed for the patents because of prior art.

Because they're idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873366)

Sun Tzu's manual of patent profiteering clearly describes the tactic of suing smaller defenseless companies for settlements in preparation for suing the larger, better defended corporations. ;-) Someone clearly didn't do their homework. It's like using the weapon of fire without the wind at their back. Stoopid!

America! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873217)

FUCK YEAH!

business plan. (5, Funny)

aitsu (592587) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873238)

1. Take out patent on "FUD".
2. Take out patent on "Prior art".
3. Profit!

Re:business plan. (1)

millermp (778586) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873317)

Oh my god!!! You figured out magical step 2! Now where did I put that patent application form?

Re:business plan. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873387)

You are too slow, for I have already patented Step 2, as well as Step 2 + n.

I wonder (4, Insightful)

mcc (14761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873249)

I wonder if maybe Apple will be the first big American company to finally break the silence and speak out against software patents. Microsoft had their "see, bad law affects you too" moment with Eolas, but their reaction (quietly settle the matter in court and suddenly start jacking up the size of their patent library) has been so odd it almost seems like "Whoa, you mean patent law can be abused? Cool!"

But now that Apple's finding themselves up against a frivolous patent suit, maybe it will finally occur to them they aren't really getting anything out of patent law but they're having to pay for frivolous patent lawsuits and only have to pay more and more as IP abuse looks more and more like a growth industry...

Re:I wonder (1)

putaro (235078) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873425)

Unlikely - Apple has a huge portfolio of software patents which they put together at considerable expense. In order for them to come out against them they'd have to write off all the money that they spent. And the execs who decided that making lots of software patents would have egg all over their faces.

Software patents? No problem! (1)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873250)

Apple et. al. can just move to Eur ... Opps. Never mind.

They Patented WHAT? (4, Insightful)

Fitzghon (578350) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873259)

From their website:
"It is related to using a payment account information to verify the identity of a user, the payment account may be a credit account, before providing the user access to computer software/apparatus."
Apparently, Pat-Rights has a patent which covers ANY logins in which a payment account is used to verify the user. So companies such as shareware companies, online websites that accept subscribers (redvsblue.com, slashdot.org, userfriendly.org, etc.), Amazon, Buy.com...
Who hasn't violated their patent rights?

Fitzghon

Re:They Patented WHAT? (2, Interesting)

johnd (8375) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873353)

Have a look at their patent "Vehicle Smart Window Safety Control".
They actually admit they don't know how to do this, but they have taken out a patent so that when someone does do it, they can claim royalties.

There is something seriously wrong here.

EP (1)

enigmathegreat (696605) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873281)

I wish this had happened before the EU software patent directive passed. This is a perfect example of the stupidity that is software patenting. Since the directive still has to go through a few more votes, I'd say members of the Parliament should definitely hear about this before voting any more on it.

Slashdot Friends and Foes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873288)

Remember folks.


Hate this--->Pat-rights


Love this--->Apple's iTunes Music Store



Hate this--->Pat-rights



Love this--->(They also claim infringement by eBay, porn sites, and others.)



Hate this--->First up, Lake Forest, Illinois-based Advanced Audio Devices (AAD)


Love this--->Apple has brought to market as the iPod."


Got it?

Coming soon to the European Union (5, Insightful)

cortana (588495) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873293)

Coming soon to EU member states, unless *you* write to your MEPs and request that they attend (and vote against) the European Parliament's second reading of the computer-implemented invention laws.

Okay! (0, Troll)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873302)

Anyone else think software patents are a good idea? Anyone? No? Hm.

Sue away... (2, Insightful)

Usefull Idiot (202445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873305)

I for one, welcome our patent hording overlords...

Hopefully this will lead some people with influence into realizing the patent system needs an overhaul. Probably not though... Has anyone patented the binary numbering system yet? Just imagine how many companies could be sued...

My New Business Plan! (1)

AfterSchoolSpecial (822854) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873308)

1. File intentionally ambiguous patents
2. Have patents approved by horribly inept patent office
3. Make no attempt to utilize idea(s)
4. Wait for hit product and/or industry to embrace new technology
5. ???
6. Sue the crap out of them
7. Profit!

Oh man, someone stole my idea! Oh well, back to the drawing board...

Re:My New Business Plan! (1)

MemoryAid (675811) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873356)

There's probably still time to patent the idea, then sue the guys who are actally using it. Perhaps a claim or two about ex-post-facto patent filings would help.

Three Words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873309)

Jesus Christ Almighty!

More Problems with Software Patents? (0, Redundant)

PyWiz (865118) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873311)

This is why software should be copyrighted instead of patented. The kinds of things you can get patents on these days are just downright silly. A patent on a music jukebox? A patent on user verification system? Give me a break. These patents are not meant to protect the "inventors" IP, but rather to simply scheme the court system into getting money that they don't deserve. All software patents do is hold back the industry. Think about it, what if someone had patented the idea for a GUI? Where would we all be today?

On the other hand, if software was copyrighted, the inventor's IP would still be protected (his actual code) but the idea would still be useful to other developers.

Just my two cents

-py

Obvious invention (1)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873333)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the conditions for a patent being valid that there must be no prior art and that the invention must not be obvious for those versed in the art?

If so, what could possible be more obvious than verifying customer info using a credit card account? Seriously, who would not think of that idea?

I don't understand how people can possibly miss the absurdity of software patents with cases like these...

Re:Obvious invention (2, Insightful)

darnok (650458) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873440)

> Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the conditions
> for a patent being valid that there must be no
> prior art and that the invention must not be
> obvious for those versed in the art?

Ah, clearly you missed the all-important qualification "...on the Internet", which instantly created a whole new area of patentable IP.

"Sir, we're suing you for patent infringement"

"On what grounds?"

"Not sure yet, but since you've done things on the Internet we're pretty sure you'll have infringed a patent somewhere. If not one of ours, then we'll track down one owned by someone else and collect a spotter's fee. So, do you want to confess now, or take us on in court?"

I'm patenting breathing... (1)

midifarm (666278) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873335)

You all owe me money!

Peace

What do you expect from a company called Pat-Right (5, Informative)

Paco23 (555645) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873336)

From their own website:

"Pat" stands for PATENT, "Pat-rights" means patent rights.

Early in 1995, Founder of Pat-rights, Mr. Philip H.K. TSE visualised Internet as the most promising environment for digital content distribution and began to develop ideas and technologies essential for these changes.

As a result of his long term efforts, several national patents are being issued. And, some of them are being infringed by Global Industrial giants."

http://www.pat-rights.com/

The company's whole business model is built around going after companies over IP.

Darl, is that you?

Paco23

Is their ever going to be an end... (1)

HippyGeek (864684) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873344)

to all this patent nonsense. The software industry is so stifled by all this crap. And it's almost a necessity now. If a company didn't patent it's technology it's at a disadvantage from those companies that do. It allows competitors to both use their technology freely while at the same time leveraging their own patents to stop the company using the competitors technology. Guess it will take either a law change or some ballsy stance by a big player in the patent game to stop taking out patents...I'd vote the former will happen a long time before the latter.

Reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873351)

Do we need any more examples why software patents don't work. It's not surprising that someone would attempt to patent something as obvious as password protection.

Excellent (2, Insightful)

JerkyBoy (455854) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873354)


This ridiculous, inhibitive patent suit should be thrown in the faces of the European Parliament prior to their ratification of software patents in Europe as an example of the damage that patents cause to businesses. If they don't see the problems with software patents now, they never will.

FrISt psot? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873355)

GAY NI)GGERS FROM

Reading the patent claim... (4, Informative)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873369)

The Hong Kong patent doesn't apply to Apple according to the "Field of Invention."

The present invention relates to protection of software, and particularly, to protection of software against unauthorised use or copying.

Let's see, iTMS does not use logging in to protect software. It only "protects" files such as the MP3's that you download. iTMS also doesn't care about unauthorised copying of iTMS because you can download it whenever you want, for free, from Apple. Lastly, iTMS doesn't use logins to prevent the unauthorised use of iTMS, but instead, only the unauthorised use of the music. The biggest distinction is that this patent is to protect a software program (from what I can gather). iTMS, and many other website, etc., use login to protect either A) Information or B) Files of some kind. A file is not necessarily a piece of software. Hell, I know that every word document I have ever written is a file, but it is most certainly not a piece of software. Yes, we all know that this is a bogus patent, but this shows that it definitely does not apply.

Totally disgusting (4, Insightful)

Artega VH (739847) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873386)

Everyone knows that iTunes allows a user to play purchased music tracks to up to 5 computers, without repeated payment, under the condition that the computers are registered. The computer registration involves a process of identity verification in which a user is required to key in into the computer the correct Apple ID and password he used to purchase the song.

This is certainly a patentable technology. If iTunes does not patent it, there must be a very good reason for them not to do so- someone else has patented this.


Certainly patentable? Perhaps apple's version is although it's a bit of a stretch. It's a huge assumption to make that because apple didn't patent it then someone else must have. Perhaps apple considered this to be an obvious technology and therefore NOT patentable? Perhaps they didn't patent it because they wanted everyone to be able to use this technology?

Pat-rights named the technology as "Internet/Remote User Identity Verification", earned a US Patent 6,665,797 therefor, and world-wide patents pending. In the end of 2003, Apple indicated in its communication to Pat-rights that Apple had no interested in licensing it and remain silence ever since then.

As far as I can tell it's called "Protection of software again against unauthorized use" who knew we could "again" protect against unauthorized use?

"We have kept a close watch on every development of iTunes. We believe this is willful infringement", said CEO of Pat-rights, Mr. Philip H.K. Tse,"We lose face. Apple shows no respect to us and our patent rights!"

The US Patent 6,665,797 is written in plain English, even a layman can read and understand it. "They are playing unfair to their customers, not us." Mr. Tse further commented.


Plain english is debatable, here is the abstract: "A central program comprising a EI sub-program for providing identity information of the rightful user thereof for accessing a network central computer to obtain service(s) or software product(s) or alike, in which a secure operation on an account of the rightful user for payment therefor involved; and a AS sub-program for using the existence of the EI sub-program in a computer as a precondition for authorising use of those software products obtained on that computer. The central program is for managing the use of the individual sub-programs therein so that the AS sub-program can be protected from being copied individually."

That's a whopping TWO sentences! Although I guess it is "plain" english.

To me this seems overly broad and stupidly obvious. Authentication is a security mechanism covered in any undergrad network security course so it seems a bit of a stretch that this isn't obvious to anyone skilled in the arts.. hmmph.. disgusting.

Shut the fuck up. (1)

Kill all Muslims (845937) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873404)

I was recently awarded a patent on complaining about patents and/or the patent office. Shut the fuck up before I sue your greasy asses.

Maybe I should seek a patent on killing Muslims. I want royalties every time a good-hearted Christian kills one of those barbarians. "Blow them all away in the name of the Lord!" [cnn.com]

This patent crap is getting absolutely absurd. (5, Funny)

Caspian (99221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873409)

When will a company have the balls to respond to such a patent claim by FedExing a piece of paper containing two words: "Fuck off"?

It's about time someone did something like that in response to this sort of BS.

Patent Idiocy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873410)

(Yelling) This is what happens when you liscense stupid patents like one click.

Patents are terrible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11873449)

Just wait until someone patents the patent.

The Patent in Question (4, Informative)

hakr89 (719001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873450)

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PT O1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=/netahtml/srchnum.htm &r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6665797.WKU.&OS=PN/6665797&RS=PN/ 6665797 [uspto.gov]
There's definately some prior art for this one. Amazon is a likely one, they came to exist in 1996, while the patent was filed in 1998. Hmm...

Does iTunes use "audio signals" or data (3, Insightful)

piltdownman84 (853358) | more than 9 years ago | (#11873456)

I would say that Jukebox is dead in the water on technical merits. Not just prior art. The patent is for :

"music jukebox which is configured for storing a music library". The device includes a "housing, audio input structure... for receiving audio signals, and a data storage structure... for storing audio signals".

This is the big question in the register story. I would argue that iTunes does not receive audio signals but digital data. iTunes does not have any means to directly record audio signals, only to convert data from one format to another (either from a digital medium known as a CD, or from another file format) , and of course to output audio signals. Same with an iPod. They both do not except input of audio signals only input of digital data. Maybe i'm making too much of a connection between acoustic sounds and audio signals

Anyone with a better background in audio want to weigh in?
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