Apple wins iTunes interface patent

“Apple Computer has won a patent for the interface of its iTunes music software, underscoring the growing importance of the multimedia business for the company. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Apple a patent for its media player software interface on May 4, along with several other features of the company’s high-profile products. Other parts of the iTunes software, including the ability to stream songs over a network to another copy of the program, had been the subject of earlier patents,” John Borland reports for CNET News.

“Apple has been the recipient of thousands of patents, ranging–in just in the last month alone–from the iTunes software components to the swivel arm joint supporting the latest iMac’s flat-panel screen,” Borland reports. “Early in March [Apple] applied for a patent on the interface for its popular iPod digital music player.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s United States Patent 6,731,312 can be viewed here. Images relating to the patent can be viewed here.

17 Comments

  1. Good grief, someone ought to patent a more user friendly interface. Man, it is one butt ugly mess.

    Now did Apple patent the “look” of iTunes of “how” the look was developed?

  2. Yeah, Frank, I had a dizzying reaction to browsing that patent the other day, especially trying to follow the claims! I quickly dismissed it as being in the “write-only” document category, like EULAs and other legal jargon.

  3. It’s funny, I went to read the full ad and there was a Microsoft ad in the center of the page that looked very similar to the recent ipod ad style. Kind of ironic, huh?

  4. Looking at the claims of patent, I think they have pretty much patented every necessary element of displaying music information in an application. They way you browse through the genre, how the infomration is stored in three panels, etc. etc.

    If you think of iTunes, you probably will agree it is probably one of the well-conceived interfaces.. and I guess it is easy for any other music store to make an application look exactly like the iTunes. That’s pretty much a NO-NO after this patent.

  5. You Go Apple!!

    The major reason why the Mac is in the single digit marketshare ghetto is because Scully gave away the deed to the farm to Microsoft. By letting Gates copy the Mac interface it allowed M’Soft to get ‘close enough’ and ‘good enough’ and look where Apple is now.

    The history of Apple is the history of Personal Computing.
    They blew it once, looks like they are not gonna blow it again.

    If Apple can hang onto the crucial elements of iTunes, it will force the competition to innovate in order to compete. Not something they are good at.

    DV

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