“While Microsoft has struggled to challenge the iPod in the market, the software giant’s lawyers have managed to slow Apple Computer’s attempt to patent its digital music technology,” Ina Fried reports for CNET News. “In a ruling issued last month, a patent examiner rejected Apple’s attempt to patent some of the user interface concepts behind the popular digital music player, noting that Microsoft developer John Platt filed for similar claims five months before Apple did.”
Fried reports, “A Microsoft executive noted on Friday that the company is always open to licensing its technology. ‘In general, our policy is to allow others to license our patents so they can use our innovative methods in their products,’ David Kaefer, Microsoft’s director of intellectual property licensing, said in a statement. ‘Microsoft and Apple have previously licensed their respective patent portfolios to one another and we maintain a good working relationship with Apple.’ But in an interview, Kaefer agreed that it may be a bit premature to speculate that Apple will have to send Microsoft a check for each iPod.”
Apple “invented and publicly released the iPod interface before the Microsoft patent application cited by the examiner was filed,” Apple said in a statement.
Full article here.
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