Burst.com sues Apple for iTunes, iPod, QuickTime patent infringement

“Burst.com has filed a countersuit against Apple Computer claiming that the iTunes software, the iPod and the Quicktime streaming software all infringe on patents held by Burst.com, Burst announced Monday,” Tom Krazit reports for CNET. “After being approached by Burst.com in late 2004, Apple had filed for a declaratory judgment in January that it isn’t infringing on Burst’s patents, but Burst is going ahead with its lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in San Francisco. Burst is asking for royalties as well as an injunction, it said in a press release.”

“Burst has developed software that helps companies speed up the delivery of audio and video files over a network. The company was involved in a similar patent infringement dispute with Microsoft last year that ended with a $60 million settlement and a Microsoft license to the Burst technology,” Krazit reports. “Apple and Burst had held discussions over the past year regarding the patents but never came to any licensing agreement. Apple doesn’t believe the patents are valid, it said in January.”

Full article here.

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Related articles:
Burst.com plans countersuit against Apple alleging iPod, iTunes patent infringement – January 06, 2006
Apple Computer sues Burst after negotiations over iTunes, iPod patent licenses breakdown – January 06, 2006

48 Comments

  1. The sad thing, aberoder, is that I hold the patent on calling patents stupid, which you are now infringing on, and I shall see to it that the courts make you pay, unless you voluntarily cease and desist all posting immediately and send me a check for $1.98.

    And a Boba Fett Pez dispenser.

    And it better have the orange Pez candy. I hate those purple ones. I get purple, then it’s gonna get ugly here real quick.

  2. I wish they would throw out the idea of software patents completely.

    Sweet!! Watch R&D take a nosedive.. lets remove all incentives for innovation woo hoo!

    The US would love that, if Korea and Japan held all the technology patents..

    Great idea!

  3. Dark Lord Ballmer – “Shall I increase the prices of Windows Vista to compensate? Threaten to kill them with a chair?”

    Dark Lord Gates – “No, just stand around and sweat, take off your shirt and expose your armpits.”

  4. Calm down everyone. I’ve read the answer and countercomplaint. Burst is simply responding to the dec action that Apple filed. As I like to say, anyone can file a lawsuit. It’s all those law firms repping Burst that will benefit the most from this. Think of all the billable hours!

  5. Dark Lord Gates – “No, just stand around and sweat, take off your shirt and expose your armpits.”

    Darth BallmerAs you wish, my massssster, *hisss*

    Dark Load GatesAnd do that monkeyboy dance too

    Darth BallmerDevelopers!, *hisss*, Develporsss, *cough* Develo… I, I looove thissss *hisss* compannny *croak* arggg

    Dark Load GatesYes, yesss

  6. mike said it all. Joop and the others who think we ought to throw out patents apparently have no clue about the dynamics of the patent system and its relationship to innovation. Perfect? Hardly. But it sure as hell beats a free-for-all where individual inventors have no prayer of protecting their work, and even larger corporations are at the mercy of connivance because there is no standard. Yep, that’s what we need: no standards. Yeah, let’s see what happens to R&D when there is no longer any period of time for protecting the incubation of innovation, or protection for the chance to take risk and receive a return on that risk when successful.

    Is Burst an innovation-squelching, patent-squatting leech? Maybe, maybe not. But I’d rather take the chance they could be right–and if they are, we get to pay the man–than have a system where one might be unable to attract investment capital.

  7. I cannot believe the amount of people suggesting that the system of taking out a patent on ideas is stupid/flawed?!?!

    What the f$@k?

    You are probably the same boobs that want to take all pharmaceutical and scientific research away from private companies and give it to government funded institutions! Yeah cause governments NEVER waste money! And of course all the drugs would be cheaper then – oh utopia with 89c in the dollar federal taxes and 11c in the dollar state taxes – sign me up! Bloody morons!

    The patent system is NECESSARY for innovation. Open source by definition ONLY exist because there is propriatory systems. Only when people and/or institutions (public or private) can be assured of commercial return will they invest the time and moeny in the search for new technologies, methods, ideas. Sure there are those that exist in the ivory towers of academia that innovate without the desire for commercial return, but you can bet that they are backed by businesses that are.

    This case may annoy Apple and its fans, but I’m sure that essentially Apple respects this move by Burst.com. It would do the same (as it repeatedly has) to protect it’s intellectual property.

    The WONDERFUL thing about the patent system is that you can challenge someone if you think they have infringed your rights by “borrowing” of even copying your ideas without compensation (which you deserve for investing/risking time and money developing).

    The other wonderful thing is that if you challenge someone in such a way, under the patent system you must have very clear documentation or other proof (eg evidence of prior use) to win your case.

    So this issue is simple:

    1) Apple developed it’s own streaming technology that is clearly not based on Burst.com’s patents and therefor it has no case to answer and burst.com will end up paying for the whole exercise.

    OR

    2) Apple IS infringing burst.com’s patents and quite rightly SHOULD compensate them appropriately (as Apple would expect the same).

    Sure there are opportunistic challenges to patents – but that isn’t the patent system at fault – that is the nature of human laziness and greed.

    my 2 cents

    Luke

  8. Sorry for spelling errors – banged that one out quickly.

    Also to expand on the Open Source comments.

    If there was ONLY Open Source – well there NEVER would be.

    Almost all those people working on Open Source have jobs. Sure they devote their time to the cause, but eventually there is SOME comercial interest providing for them and their families.

    I agree with the concept of Open Source, especially as it provides alternatives, which in a TRULY free market is essential.

    But just like Microsoft has stiffled innovation due to its predatory and monopolistic practices, the OTHER extreme (i.e. 1000’s if not millions of Open Source software providers) would also eventually aggregate and form some commercial interest (you know, so they can buy food etc). Even in the Open Source community there is Redhat etc. They take the common work and add their work to give them the right to charge for it.

    Do you think Redhat would let you just take their work and use it for nothing? They have kids to educate and lives to live.

    Patent is bad, free is good – WRONG

    Free is good, Patents are bad – WRONG

    Muslims bad, Christians good (think Spanish Inquisition) – WRONG

    Chritians bad, Muslins good (think Jihad) – WRONG

    Americans obnoxious, French cultured – WRONG

    All French socialist scum, all Americans capitilist pigs – WRONG

    You get the idea:

    In the end people that deal in absolutes are always wrong ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    4 cents and counting

    Luke

  9. This is the only lawsuit of late that worries me……..They beat Microsoft. Not sure how this one is going to turn out. Burst may or may not have a case (I don’t know all the details), but again they DID make MS pony up……………..

  10. Had Burst actually used it’s patent? Is that relevant? I seem to recall people discussing prior use, or people sitting on unused patents as grounds for making a patent uniforcable.

    Any lawyers?

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