Apple, Microsoft, Sony sued over music distribution

A law suit started in a Texas district court yesterday alleging that Apple, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Rhapsody, Napster, Brilliant Digital and Microsoft had breached a patent on distributing music over the web.

Sharing Sound LLC said it owns a US patent – 6,247,130 – called Distribution of musical products by a web site vendor over the internet. The patent was issued on the 12th of June 2001.

Apple with its iTune Store, Sony, Rhapsody, Napster, Brilliant Digital and Microsoft with are all accused of breaching this patent.

Sharing Sound is demanding damages and an injunction on all these companies distributing music over the internet.  It wants a jury trial to determine the outcome of its allegations.

The day before, a company called Synchrome Technology Inc sued Microsoft and NEC Corporation of America, alleging they had infringed one of its patents.

This is US patent 5,802,398 called Method and apparatus for allowing communication between a host computer and at least two storage devices over a single interface. The patent was issued to Fann-Hoan Liu and Jorge Gustavson on the 1st of September 1998. These inventors assigned the patent to Synchrome. Synchrome wants damages.