Hybrid Audio LLC sues Apple, other smaller companies over alleged MP3-related patent

Apple Online Store“Hybrid Audio LLC of Tyler, Texas, filed a suit yesterday with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Apple, HTC and Dell over US. Patent No. RE40,281 on ‘Signal processing utilizing a tree-structured array,'” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents.

MacDailyNews Take: Rocket docket.

Mueller continues, “The patent-in-suit is a reissue of a patent that was applied for in 1997: US Patent No. 6,252,909 on a ‘multi-carrier transmission system utilizing channels of different bandwidth.’ Allegedly, the defendants infringe that patent with various products ‘that contain or use hardware and/or software for processing audio information in accordance with the MPEG-1 Layer III (MP3) standard.'”

“The complaint focuses on a smaller number of specifically accused products: the Android-based HTC Evo 4G smartphone; Apple’s iPod nano, iPhone 4, iPad, MacBook Pro, and iTunes; and Dell’s Inspiron desktops, Studio desktops, Alienware desktops, Inspiron laptops, Adamo laptops, XPS laptops, Alienware laptops, Streak pocket tablet, and Android-based Aero smartphone,” Mueller reports.

More info in the full article here.

[Attribution: MacNN. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. I always wonder how can everyone have a patent on basically the same things. Compression, sending data, receiving data, converting digital data into audio/video.

    Its worded differently but basically its the same non detailed patent that everyone seems to own. ???

    Our govt. Scre*ing everyone equally. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Just a thought,

  2. If they were serious, they would be suing the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG), since they license the MP3 standard to interested parties, like Apple and Dell?

    Besides, why would you sue Dell? I though you would only go after companies that had money…?

  3. Please keep in mind that Texas is a GOP stronghold and east Texas is as Republican as it gets and has been for a long time. There are places in east Texas that would make the Beverly hillbillies feel right at home. I just wanted you to know where you can place the blame for encouraging the patent trolls.

  4. @KingMel;

    Houston, Texas is the 4 largest city in America, and it looks poised to overtake Chicago in the very near future.
    Houston is international, cosmopolitan, and despite the negative stereotyping perpetuated by an exceptionally ignorant left, not a conservative stronghold. In fact our mayor, Annise Parker, is openly gay!

    Once in a while, it’d be nice if “progressives” learned to use facts when speaking, and stopped painting everyone with a such broad brush.

  5. I live in Houston, Moo. I voted for Parker. I’m glad that she is openly gay and won the election. I revel in the knowledge that it sticks in the craw of many hardcore religious wingnuts in the area.

    Texas *is* a conservative stronghold. The GOP now holds 2/3 of the state house through a combination of district gerrymandering and backlash from the past two years. There was no one more conservative, and few more tyrannical, than Tom DeLay. To many in the area, he still walks on water.

    People who live in Houston do not consider it part of “east” Texas. We are on the gulf coast. East Texas is the piney woods. I have been to east Texas quite a few times and the level of prejudice in that area is staggering. I am proud to have country folk from the mountains of WVa as my forebears, so my comment regarding the Beverly hillbillies was a poor attempt at humor that was in bad taste. But the fact remains that east Texas is quite backwards in a social sense.

    There are parts of Houston that are “international” and “cosmopolitan.” But much of it is not. And the fact that you attempt to label the entire “left” as exceptionally ignorant is instructive. I could slap you around with one frontal lobe tied behind my back, you cretin.

  6. KingMel, we on the social left are often just as bigoted – in a different way – than those on the social right. We, too tend to pigeon-hole those we see as our opposites. Our enemies.
    We know that Texas, as a whole, is dominated by conservatives … and that often means NoPublicans. We also are well aware that some parts of Texas are more conservative than other parts. As Moo said, Houston (a large city) is much less conservative than the more rural areas. That’s rather typical. The fact they had to resort to gerrymandering (a term and strategy developed in my home state) to gain a 2/3rds majority suggests that the balance is far closer to “neutral”.
    Now to the real point … why bring this up in a discussion about patent office errors? ElderNorm said it … how can so many have patented the same thing? The same (essentially) Open Source thing?

  7. @DLMeyer

    I posted mostly on topic originally. Then responded to east Texas comment, which is also on topic since it is the favored location for patent cases, and is the one selected in this instance.

    Utterly tired of hypocrisy, greed, and self-righteousness from either end and the middle. Arguments on both extremes are lame, but the right has instigated a propaganda war over the past decade. Just making it clear that belief is not fact, nor can twisted positions be legitimized by twisted arguments. My opponents are illogic, lack of vision, wasted opportunities, and belief exalted over truth. My disgrace is that I know that this forum has plummeted to the depths in the past two years and, yet, I repeatedly allow myself to be drawn down into the muck.

    This was a much better forum when Apple was on the brink of folding and we were all underdogs fighting to maintain our computing platform of choice. Now that Apple is ascendant and the family of Mac users has become more diverse, the forum has become defocused and the mood has become discordant. I suppose that is human nature – pulling together in times of distress and sowing dissension in times of plenty.

  8. @ KingMel

    Don’t worry, eventually the middle will return and the neanderthals will be bred into assimilation once again. Just remember that the larger the population grows, the more the tails of the bell curve show up… And they’re mostly just noisy, “filled with sound and fury, signifying nothing.” They’ll dissipate.

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