Apple, media outlets hit with ‘information distribution’ patent lawsuit

“Apple and its iTunes store has been grouped with a number of mainstream media outlets in a new lawsuit regarding a patent of distribution and processing of information online,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

Online News Link, a California-based company, holds claim to U.S. Patent No. 7,508,789, which covers the transmission of digital information through a broadcast channel and bi-directional channel,” Hughes reports. “‘Defendant Apple infringes, either directly or indirectly, through its operation of iTunes and the email and Web-based products, systems, and services offered via iTunes,’ the suit, filed in a U.S. District Court this week, reads.”

Hughes reports, “The patent was granted on March 24, 2009… In addition to Apple, Online News Link’s suit targets Dow Jones & Company, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes Media,,, Morningstar, A.H. Belo Corporation, and The Dallas Morning News. The suit was filed in the Eastern District of Texas, where complainants often file in hopes of a favorable outcome.”

MacDailyNews Take: Rocket Docket.

Full article, with Online News Link’s patent illustration diagram, here.


  1. Wow… this is getting really old…

    actually, with the gov’t forcing ALL TV stations to go digital, and with radio stations now on the web, they should go after anyone broadcasting digital these days… maybe they need to bring a lawsuit against the FCC….

    Wow…. maybe I should take stock in this company ! Actually, maybe we can convince the bafoon at microscoff to buy it – he seems stupid enough to buy into trash like this.

  2. I have to say, living here in Texas we hear nothing of these suits in local media. Now, this is not to say that there is something conspiritorial going, on.

    What I am trying to say is that the area courts here in east Texas are well versed in these types of cases and they tend to not allow a lot of goofy legal jockeying by either side. I know full well that it is thought that this area offers the best chance for a favorable ruling for the plaintiffs, but the reality is that texans in the area tend to be pretty clear thinking folks an don’t have a lot of time for shenanigans- we like to call it straight shootin’. Whether or not that constitutes a breeding ground for abuse of patent law- maybe. But, then again, maybe the patent laws need a once- over themselves.

    My .02$

  3. As to the nature of this particular lawsuit, I am calling excessive BS and abuse, my lack of knowledge of the full patent issue not withstanding.

    I for one would love to see it thrown straight out on its skinny backside.

  4. How can a patent be valid after the fact?

    Maybe I should run out and get myself a patent, so that I can have something to fall back on in old age…<GRIN>

    Sounds more like an lawyer trying to make something out of nothing so as to make some money… hell of away to make a buck!

  5. @AmericanJoe,

    You forget that this is the judicial and legal professions being discussed. Any description of the local inhabitants of any area is bound to be of a higher caliber.

    MDN word: free. As in when are we going to be free of this sort of legal nonsense.

  6. Made I should file a Patent for the idea of biological complex self aware machines and when it’s granted by the Patent Office and then go to the Eastern District of Texas and file a suit against every woman who as ever given birth and every doctor and hospital that as delivered a baby. There are plenty of Abandoned Patents that I can reference to support my idea and claim.

    Hell I might just win and be able to collect a royalty from every birth of man or animal and a license fee from every doctor, hospital, Veterinarian and animal hospital in the world I’d be Rich I tell you!!!!!!

  7. @ AmericanJoe: What the rocket docket in Tyler offers is a quick decision without protracted legal filings and shenanigans allowed in other courts (see Exxon Valdez, Love Canal). In general that benefits all winners and plaintiff losers.

  8. If this patent is upheld, virtually anyone running a web server could be infringing upon it. Total BS.

    MDN– How about researching some the final rulings on the many technology patent infringement suits being ruled on in this court. We always here about the nonsense being brought to court, but rarely hear about the results. I’d like to hope that the crazy ones, like this one, get bounced quickly.

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