Apple, four other companies named in new DRM lawsuit

“Five of the top companies in the online music industry are being sued by an individual who claims that the digital rights management software used by the Internet’s most popular music download services violates a seven-year-old technology patent,” Kasper Jade reports for AppleInsider.

“Earlier this month Ho Keung Tse of Hong Kong filed a lawsuit in United States Federal Court alleging that the digital rights management (DRM) technology used by the online music stores of Apple Computer, Sony Connect, Real Networks, Napster and MusicMatch infringes on his U.S. Patent No. 6,665,797,” Jade reports. “Apple was the first company to be notified of Tse’s patent when the inventor contacted the company approximately 11 months ago, according to Zito. Attorneys for both parties later met in an attempt to reach an out-of-court resolution but were unable to agree on amicable financial terms.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Patent violation claims surface against Apple over iPod, iTunes technologies – March 07, 2005
Report: Hong-Kong company wants 12 percent of iPod and iTunes profits, Apple already in negotiations – March 07, 2005


  1. Dude Mac has a point if this person is suing Real Networks, Napster and MusicMatch then Microsoft also should be included since these company’s uses Microsoft DRM.

    I too smell a rat … oh wait I haven’t bath today yet … Umm Nothing to see here move along people. Thank You

  2. Since this is a stupid story on another (so far) slow Mac news day (through no fault of MDN’s), let me just say that I have no qualms about possibly derailing this thread. And with that in mind re: Screaming Pessimist . . .

    Hong Kong Phooey rules!

    I just love — LOVE — old cartoons that have a non-PC, slightly stereotyped edge to them.

    Speaking of which — anyone for Speedy Gonzales, the fastest mouse in all Mexico (and his lazy Mexican cousin Slowpoke Rodriguez)?

  3. If this kind of leech-like, patent-something-and-then-never-develop-it-but-wait-for-someone-else-to-and-then-stick-it-to-them trend continues it is really gonna stifle innovation.

    I think there should be a shorter time limit to actually develop and take to market a patented idea. You shouldn’t be able to just sit on it so long and do nothing with it. Maybe something like if another company files to develop an idea that is already patented, the original patent holder then has a limited time period to prove that he is actively working on producing a product or he loses the rights.

  4. Speedy Gonzales = Steve Jobs’ Apple

    Quick with the ideas, on the side of the good guys, gets the job done

    Slowpoke Rodriguez = Bill Gates’ Microsoft

    Steals everyone’s ideas, in it for themselves, gets infected all the time

  5. Did Apple make FairPlay? Or was that a different company’s product? If so, shouldn’t that other company be the one responsible for infringing on this patent? I still think patents should only be issued for working prototypes. My 2 cents.

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