Apple, Microsoft sued for patent infringement

Apple and Microsoft are being sued for allegedly infringing on another company's patent that describes an HTTP streaming server.

Diagram depicting Apple's HTTP Live Streaming Application Apple

Apple and Microsoft are being sued for patent infringement, according to a report on AppleInsider on Thursday.

The patent in question, entitled "Apparatus, method and a computer readable medium for generating media packets," was awarded to Emblaze, who filed for the patent in 2002.

The patent describes "a method for generating media packets, the method comprising the steps of: providing at a storage unit packet boundary information representative of locations of potential packet boundaries within media objects; said packet boundary information facilitating generation of packets of varying sizes; wherein said packet boundary information comprises intra access unit offsets; selecting at a packet generator packet boundaries in response to a packet size selection information; and generating media packets in response to the selected packet boundaries."

In other words: a streaming server. Emblaze said in a statement published on Thursday that Apple's HTTP Live Streaming Application (PDF), used in the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Mac OS X infringe on its patent. In addition to sending notification of the lawsuit to Apple, Emblaze also included a license agreement in case the company wanted to settle the dispute quickly.

"Emblaze has made substantial investment into research and development to build a rich portfolio of intellectual property over many years. While we are happy to license our technology to third parties, we will vigorously defend our rights and our competitive position," Naftali Shani, chairman of Emblaze, said in a statement.

Emblaze also says that Microsoft's IIS Smooth Streaming infringes the same patent. The lawsuit gives Microsoft until March 15 to reply.

About the author

Jim Dalrymple has followed Apple and the Mac industry for the last 15 years, first as part of MacCentral and then in various positions at Macworld. Jim also writes about the professional audio market, examining the best ways to record music using a Macintosh. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. He currently runs The Loop.

 

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