Apple wins iTunes interface patent

Apple Computer has won a patent for the interface of its iTunes music software, underscoring the growing importance of the multimedia business for the company.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Apple a patent for its media player software interface on May 4, along with several other features of the company's high-profile products. Other parts of the iTunes software, including the ability to stream songs over a network to another copy of the program, had been the subject of earlier patents. Apple has been the recipient of thousands of patents, ranging--in just in the last month alone--from the iTunes software components to the swivel arm joint supporting the latest iMac's flat-panel screen.

Interface elements have been a key point of concern for the company stretching as far back as the release of the Macintosh operating system, however. The company sued Microsoft for copyright infringement after early releases of Windows proved similar in conception to the Macintosh desktop concept, which itself was predated by work done at the Xerox PARC research facility.

News source: C|Net News.com

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