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Apple Wins Media Download Patent
Friday, December 1st, 2006 at 8:15 AM - by
Apple Computer's ongoing legal battle with David Contois is finally over, now that the patent he says Apple stole from him was awarded to the iPod maker in an out of court settlement. The patent in question describes how computers manage and download media files to external devices - in essence, exactly what iTunes does.
Michael Starkweather, the attorney that wrote the patent for Mr. Contois, commented "That's the billion dollar patent. I believe that, with this patent in hand, Apple will eventually be after every phone company, film maker, computer maker and video producer to pay royalties on every download of not just music but also movies and videos."
Mr. Contois and his company, Contois Music & Technology, filed a suit against Apple in February 2006 claiming that the iTunes software violated his patent in 21 different ways. At the time, he asked the court for monetary damages and an order to prevent Apple from distributing iTunes. If the requests had been granted, it could have been potentially devastating for Apple since iTunes is the linking conduit between computers, iPods, and the iTunes Store.
Apple denied that it was infringing on the patent, and in June counter-sued for reimbursement of legal expenses.
The terms of Apple's settlement with Mr. Contois have not been disclosed.
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