Apple, Nike sued over Sports+, iStuff

A case started in a Texas district court with a company alleging that Nike and Apple infringed three patents and filed their own patents after they were informed of the alleged infringements.

Affinity said in its complaint that Nike and Apple infringed patent numbers 7,062,225; 7,251,454; and 7,519,327.

Affinity claims that in June 2006 it sent a letter jointly addressed to Nike and Apple, introducing itself as having had a long interest in the combination of music and sport as a business opportunity. The letter also listed Affinity’s patent portfolio.

Affinity said in the filing: “After receiving the letter and learning of Affinity’s portfolio, Nike and Apple began to sell their first product to seamlessly integrate Apple’s portable media player with Nike’s running shoes, the Nike + iPod Sport Kit.”

Various communications ensued between Affinity, Apple and Nike which came to nothing. Affinity said that it told the company that its patent portfolio had “already acted as a roadmap for Nike and Apple product developments”.

Affinity said it started developing its own Sport + products for the market in 2009.

The filing said: “Years after Affinity’s patent filing… Nike filed at least on US provisional patent application.” Apple also applied for patents retrospectively and had 7,623,077 and 7,623,078 granted.

Affinity wants a jury to find in its favour and award it costs and damages.