Personal Audio LLC files patent lawsuit against Apple

Personal Audio LLC has filed a second lawsuit against Apple. The first lawsuit that was pushed by the company, almost two weeks ago, resulted in a loss for Apple, to a cost of $8,000,000, as Ars Technica reported. Personal Audio LLC alleges that Apple has been responsible for stealing patents it holds. The Texas-based company holds patents and makes its profit by licensing these patented ideas to other companies. This is not the first time Personal Audio LLC has filed lawsuits against bigger companies; in 2009, they filed lawsuits against Apple, Sirius XM Radio, Archos and Coby Electronics over one of their intellectual properties. The property? The method of how a playlist is managed.

Having debuted in 2001, the iPod made use of a playlist system where users downloaded their playlist from their computer to the device. Personal Audio alleges that the company has been making use of their patented idea ever since this and sought an astronomical $84,000,000 over the event. Apple tried to change the flow of the case, though in 2010, all other companies targeted by the lawsuit bowed out and simply paid a settlement to Personal Audio. Late in the trial, Apple presented a 6,300 page document proving that they had developed the iPod playlist system alone. This displeased the judge and he gave the Cupertino-based company a monetary sanction of $10,000 for a late filing of evidence. His reasoning for the action was worded as below:

"in order to deter future similar conduct both by Apple and by other litigants"

This was the result of the first lawsuit filed by Personal Audio LLC. As Ars Technica reports, the company has chosen to file a second lawsuit against Apple, less than two weeks after having won their first. The reasoning for the lawsuit is the same as it previously was; music playlists. The only major change is that this lawsuit targets different Apple devices. Devices targeted by the lawsuit consist of newer Apple products, such as the sixth-generation iPod Nano, fourth-generation iPod Touch, iPad 2, iPhone 4, and the iPod Shuffle. Personal Audio's first lawsuit covered only the first six generations of iPod, the iPod Mini, and the first five generations of the iPod Nano. Apple argued that the newer products should be filtered out of the lawsuit; likely because they must handle playlists differently. The opportunity is one that means significantly more to Personal Audio LLC than to Apple. According to Apple's third quarter earning call, they have $76.2 billion in cash reserves, meaning that another strike for $8,000,000 from Personal Audio LLC would be insignificant at best.

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