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Microsoft Invented the iPod?


Dabba Dooba
Political User
Shocking news and a new chapter in the digital music wars. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected a March 2004 patent application by Apple Computer for the iPod.
Apple's patent for a "graphical user interface and methods of use thereof in a multimedia player" was rejected last month and the patent examiner cited in the ruling an earlier application by Microsoft, filed after the iPod was introduced but before Apple sought its own patent.

"It's incredibly embarrassing," said industry analyst Rob Enderle. "That just makes it look like someone at Apple wasn't on the ball in terms of filing the patent at the right time."
Natalie Kerris, Apple spokeswoman, said the company invented and publicly released the iPod interface before the Microsoft patent application, as cited by USPTO in its ruling.

"Apple has received many patents for inventions related to iPod, and has many more patents pending," Kerris said. "The U.S. patent process is often a lengthy one, involving much back and forth with the U.S. patent office. Apple will continue to pursue this patent application, as well as the many others covering iPod innovations."

Microsoft has stated that they don’t have any plans to block iPod sales. David Kaefer, Business Development Director for Microsoft's Intellectual Property and Licensing Group said:

"We have a long-standing practice of licensing things to Apple and licensing Apple's patents to use in our products. Our approach is to recognize that, frankly, we're both mutually dependent on the good ideas of one another."

The patent is discussion is the one John C Platt, a Microsoft employee, filed on behalf of the software giant for a “system for automatically generating music playlists based on one or more seed songs selected by a user.” The invention by Platt was called “Auto DJ”. This patent does not affect the clickwheel featured in the iPod.

xPod 360?

Although this patent doesn’t affect the right for Apple to sell the iPod, Apple might have to pay Microsoft royalties for every iPod it sells. More interesting, Microsoft could sell its own iPod variation as long as it does not infringe in any patent granted to Apple. Lawyers could also reach an agreement between both companies so Microsoft could use Apple patents and vice versa.

Earlier this year, Microsoft tapped Robbie Bach, Chief Xbox Officer and Senior Vice President of the Home and Entertainment Division, to revamp the company's digital-music strategy and compete better with Apple and its iPod, iTunes music service.

We can’t wait to learn what Bach and Microsoft are preparing in order to compete with Apple and its iPod portable music player.

Stay tuned. We’ll have more on Apple, Microsoft and iPod as it develops.



- geek -
a. this is old news - several days old
b. this is most likely to be overturned
c. Apple had released the iPod before MS had filed this patent and is therefore more likely to prevail in this case in the end.
d. from what I've gathered MS's patent is so broad it would cover most all mp3 players on the market - this story only covers Apple because they tried to patent the iPod interface and because of MS patent couldn't


(value not set)
Staff member
Political User
Xie said:
a. this is old news - several days old
that doesnt make it old...its just not new...its fresh news, old is something over a few weeks of not being in the fridge


Dabba Dooba
Political User
Yeah it is a few days old. I was browsing xbox-scene and saw this on there and it was a bit far down the page.
zeke_mo said:
that doesnt make it old...its just not new...its fresh news, old is something over a few weeks of not being in the fridge
Several days old is not "fresh news" .. it's serveral days old news. ;)


Double O Egghead
if M$ gets a single penny from apple I will think the patent proccess needs to be fixed.

what a shame for the hard work people do and they still get robbed.

I'm going to patent my brain cells so that anything i think about will get me royalties from people that bring them to light
Khayman said:
Its new to anybody who hasn't read it.

Anyway, lighten up its just people having a laugh
Sorry .. just annoyed. I took the troll bait. :( Anyone who would title a topic "Microsoft Invented the iPod" hasn't, read the facts, and doesn't know patent != invent. :p
egghead said:
I'm going to patent my brain cells so that anything i think about will get me royalties from people that bring them to light
You first check the patent office as Amazon has probably already done just this. :p I think the patent process is in much need of restructering. :dead:
It just goes to show that the *******s in congress should never have made the DMCA. It opened a backdoor to allow intellectual property to be treated under patent instead of copyright law.

BTW as above. The chances of MS prevailing are slim. Apple had a product on the street before MS patented. That invalidated the MS patent unless MS wants to claim Apple stole their industrial secrets and then prove it.

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