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ZapMedia Hits Apple with iPod/iTunes Lawsuit
Thursday, March 13th, 2008 at 7:55 AM - by
ZapMedia Services filed a lawsuit against Apple on Wednesday that claims the Cupertino company is infringing on its patents with the iPod and iTunes Store. The Atlanta-based company filed its case in the Marshall Office of the Texas Eastern District Court -- a court well known for favoring plaintiffs in patent infringement cases.
The patents in question, numbers 7,020,704 and 7,343,414, describe a "System and method for distributing media assets to user devices via a portal synchronized by said user devices." That description also sounds strikingly similar to Apple's iPod and iTunes Store.
ZapMedia Services claimed that it showed its technology to Apple in the late 1990's, and that Apple subsequently released the iPod and later the iTunes Store without licensing the company's patents.
Hill, Kertscher & Wharton's Steven G. Hill, lead litigation counsel to ZapMedia Services, commented "The Complaint alleges that ZapMedia Services' property is being exploited in a manner which is unlawful, and by law ZapMedia Services is therefore entitled to a reasonable royalty on Apple's revenues related to the infringement."
Even though ZapMedia Services is based in Georgia and Apple Inc. is based in California, it's no small coincidence that the case was filed in Texas. The Texas Eastern District Court has a history of favoring plaintiffs and for awarding steep damages. Both could work in ZapMedia's favor since many big companies choose to settle out of court instead of risking the Texas Court fines.
Apple is sticking with its standard policy and has not commented on the pending litigation.
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