Apple agreed to settle a patent dispute with Burst.com, ending two years of litigation. Burst agreed not to sue Apple over current or pending DVR patents.
Under the agreement, Apple will pay Burst.com $10 million and get access to Burst.com’s patent portfolio, with some exceptions. Apple won’t have access to four of Burst.com’s current and pending patents, including three pending patents relating to digital video recorder (DVR) technology. Court costs, expenses and attorney’s fees will reduce the proceeds to Burst.com to $4.6 million.
Burst alleges that Apple infringed four patents for transmission of compressed audio and video files in iTunes, iLife, QuickTime and the iPod.
Apple was asked by Burst in 2004 to license some of its patents, saying they were at the pioneering heart of the iPod. In January 2006, Apple sued Burst.com in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, seeking a judgment that the Burst.com patents were invalid and not infringed upon. Burst.com countersued in April 2006, alleging that Apple infringed four of its patents.
Bust also won a $60 million financial settlement from Microsoft in 2005 after a patent dispute over the transmission of music and video with its Windows Media Player.
Vonage has agreed to settle partially on a patent suit with Verizon after the company was faced with possible interruption of its service. Verizon alleges that Vonage is infringing on seven of its patents on voice-over-IP technologies. A joint statement read succinctly “The parties are pleased to have resolved this matter.”
In March of this year, a jury found that Vonage is infringing on three of the seven patents, awarding Verizon with $58 million in damages. The judge issued an injunction which was stayed pending an appeal. Nevertheless in September, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the earlier court decision. Vonage then filed a petition for a rehearing.
If Vonage wins a rehearing on either the ‘574 or ‘711 patent, or if the injunction is vacated as to the ‘574 or ‘711 patent, Vonage will have to pay Verizon $80 million. If Vonage does not win a rehearing on either the ‘574 or ‘711 patent, or if the stay is lifted reinstating the injunction, Vonage will pay Verizon $117.5 million.
Things got more interesting as AT&T filed a lawsuit against Vonage on October 17 for a patent on connecting a traditional telephone to the Internet. The suit was filed after two years of unsuccessful negotiations, however Vonage said they would resolve the matter with AT&T to prevent court proceedings.
Red Hat Inc. and Novell Inc. are being sued by IP Innovation LLC. and Technology Licensing Corp. for patent infringement. The court filing claims that Novell and Red Hat infringed on the plaintiff’s patent for User Interface with Multiple Workspaces for Sharing Display System Objects as well as two other similar patents. This is the first patent infringement lawsuit involving Linux.
According to the lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Novell and Red Hat are accused of infringing on the patents by selling the Red Hat Linux system, the Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, and the Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. IP Innovation LLC. and Technology Licensing Corp. further further contend that the defendants “deliberately and willfully” infringed on the patents, stating that the defendants were previously notified of the infringement.
IP Innovation LLC. and Technology Licensing Corp. are seeking an injunction from the District Court plus damages including other relief that the court might find proper. Novell withheld comment until their attorneys could further review the court filing.
Red Hat Inc and Novell Inc are accused of violating three patents.
Anascape Inc., a small East Texas-based gaming company, sued Microsoft and Nintendo in 2006 for being in breach of no less than twelve of their controller patents. Filed in 2000, these patents include “Remote Controller with Analog Button”, “3D Controller With Vibration” and “Game Controller with Analog Pressure Sensor”.
Late Wednesday, a federal jury found Nintendo infringed upon Anascape’s patents while designing their GameCube, Wavebird, and Wii Classic controllers. Nintendo is being ordered to pay Anascape $21 Million USD for patent infringement.
Microsoft’s out-of-court settlement with Anascape before the Nintendo trial began is considered confidential, and no further information is available.
University of Florida professor Michael Moulton thinks copyright law protects the lectures he gives to his students, and he’s headed to court to prove it.
Moulton and his e-textbook publisher are suing Thomas Bean, who runs a company that repackages and sells student notes, arguing that the business is illegal since notes taken during college lectures violate the professor’s copyright.
Faulkner Press filed suit in a Florida court Tuesday against the the owner of Einstein’s Notes, which sells “study kits” for classes, including Professor Michael Moulton’s course on “Wildlife Issues in the New Millennium.”
Those notes are illegal, Faulkner and Moulton contend, since they are derivative works of the professor’s copyrighted lectures.
If successful, the suit (.pdf) could put an end to a lucrative, but ethically murky businesses that have grown up around large universities to profit from students who don’t always want to go to the classes they are paying for.
The suit could also have ramifications for more longstanding businesses such as Cliffs Notes, which summarize copyrighted novels.
Faulkner Press publishes two e-textbooks that Moulton wrote and uses in his classes, and sells its own set of class notes for the course.
But James Sullivan, Faulkner Press’ attorney, says the suit isn’t about money for the professors, it’s about protecting its intellectual property.