US-Patent Troll und das Online Musikgeschäft – Watch Out!

Eintrag auf dem Blog On the Docket ( Patent Troll Forces Online Music Sellers and Buyers to Pay a Toll. Did you know that built into the .99 ¢ or $1.29 you pay for a song online is a toll extracted by a patent troll? The troll responsible for this toll is an actual company, Sharing Sound, which holds an actual, government-approved patent. Improbably issued in 2001, Sharing Sound’s absurdly broad patent covers “distribution of musical products by a web site vendor over the internet.” Instead of creating a product or service with the patent, Sharing Sound lied in wait and finally this past May filed patent infringement lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Rhapsody, Brilliant Digital Entertainment (BDE) and Napster, and separately also sued Amazon, Netflix, Barnes and Noble, Wal-Mart, and GameStop. The patent (here is a good summary of it) essentially describes how these companies sell music online. Other than Rhapsody and BDE, all of the companies have reportedly settled, the latest being Apple.

Sharing Sound’s patent, and the litigation arising from it, are a sad commentary on the quality of federal patent examination ...

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