Eye doctor sues Microsoft over Zune

An eye doctor has sued Microsoft for allegedly nicking his patented technology with its Zune media player.

Dr Edward Yavitz, of the Yavitz Eye Centre in Rockford, spotted two wizard ideas to quickly tag and downloading music via a device’s FM radio receiver.

In the blink of an eye, he sent Microsoft a letter about the idea, which he had patented in 2000. However, it never wrote back.

Much to his surprise in September 2008 a firmware update for the Zune let users buy music through the FM app, by tagging a song and downloading via wi-fi. We bet he didn’t see that coming.

He wrote to Redmond saying that he invented this idea and Microsoft never responded. However Yavitz felt this was a little short sighted as he was almost certainly going to sue.

“This feature remains prominently touted as the first feature of the Zune MP3 players on the Microsoft website,” Yavitz’s complaint states. “Despite using Dr. Yavitz’s patented proposal and adopting it as a centrepiece of its Zune strategy, Microsoft never responded to Dr Yavitz and never attempted to secure a license on the patents.”

Microsoft has refused to talk about it to Seattle Pi. Yavitz also owns a number of patents,  mostly relating to eye care technology.