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Apple, Samsung, Sandisk sued over MP3

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#1 Guest_Dan C_*

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 19:52

The suit, which came to light over the weekend, was filed on Feb. 16 in Marshall, Texas. The eastern Texas city is fast becoming one of the leading locations of patent infringement lawsuits in the U.S. thanks to speedy trials and juries that more often than not find in favor of the plaintiff.

In the complaint Texas MP3 Technologies alleges infringement on U.S. patent 7,065,417, which was awarded in June 2006 to multimedia chip-maker SigmaTel and covers "an MPEG portable sound reproducing system and a method for reproducing sound data compressed using the MPEG method."

Just over a month later SigmaTel said that it had sold the patent to a Dallas-based patent licensing agency because it believed the agency would be better able to take advantage of its potential value.

"Because these are such basic patents to digital music, we believe it will be difficult to design around these patents and have a commercially viable player," SigmaTel said in a statement when it announced the sale of the patent.

SigmaTel said it had retained international rights to the patent and has insulated its customers from any legal action associated with the patent.

Whether Texas MP3 Technologies is the Dallas-based company that bought the patents from SigmaTel or whether it acquired them from somewhere else is unclear. In its lawsuit Texas MP3 Technologies said it is the "assignee of all rights" of the patent and holds "all rights of recovery." The company listed an address in Marshall, Texas, in the complaint.

Texas MP3 Technologies is asking for a jury trial.

Source: Info World

Those guys are bloody greedy. :angry:

#2 undu



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Posted 26 February 2007 - 19:59

After suing Microsoft and winning the trials, this wasn't unexpected.

As for being greedy, yes, so?
Don't you know how capitalism works?

#3 Koolslacker


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Posted 26 February 2007 - 20:02

Who did not see this coming! If they won against MS, they are going to sue all major corporation for same thing.

#4 Toastyone


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Posted 26 February 2007 - 20:19

I know this sounds stupid, but Apple uses AAC....so why are they suing them? :huh:

#5 ScottKin


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Posted 26 February 2007 - 20:55

Bear in mind that the judgement against Microsoft in Alcatel/Lucent vs. Microsoft is not the final word in that case; Microsoft says that it will "vigorously" fight the lawsuit in the higher courts if needed.

Some interesting info about the scope of the case:


What was Alcatel-Lucent's role in developing MP3?
The MP3 technology was developed in large part by people with Germany's Fraunhofer and AT&T's Bell Labs, which became part of Lucent when it was spun off in 1996. Alcatel and Lucent merged last year, becoming Alcatel-Lucent.

Didn't Microsoft already license the technology from Fraunhofer?
Microsoft did pay $16 million to license MP3-related patents from Fraunhofer, but Alcatel-Lucent is arguing that it has patented technology that was not part of Microsoft's license, a point Microsoft disputes

So, at first-blush, the case (IMHO - IANAL)really doesn't seem to be as clear-cut as the News/Media outlets have been saying. It's impossible to see how much wiggle-room Microsoft had in their case without personally pouring over the filed documents on both sides, but there is a fairly good chance that Microsoft might win on appeals and have the suit reversed.


#6 vetgigapixels


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Posted 26 February 2007 - 21:00

I know this sounds stupid, but Apple uses AAC....so why are they suing them? :huh:

AAC is MPEG-4, with a different extension.

In any case, how could this patent possibly be valid if it was awarded in 2006? MP3 players were on the market long before that and therefore the patent shouldn't have even been given to ANYBODY, let alone SigmaTel.

#7 betasp


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Posted 26 February 2007 - 21:10

If prior art can be found, the patent can be found invalid and MS will get their money back. All the other companies would be off the hook as well.

#8 Buzz99


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Posted 26 February 2007 - 22:55

Suing anyone ?

This getting ridiculous. Let's work together instead...