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Apple Itunes and Sony’s PSN Targets In Lawsuit

Patent infringement suit filed in CA

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Apple Itunes and Sony’s PSN Targets In Lawsuit
[ Business]

Another day, another lawsuit. this time it is a South African man that has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California claiming a patent infringement by Apple and Sony. The man, Benjamin Grobler, claims that they are infringing on U.S. Patent No. 6,799,084, which has to do with the making and offering infringing data vending systems such as iTunes and the PlayStation Network. He was awarded the patent in 2004.

Here is the complaint as filed in the suit:

What is claimed is:

1. A data vending system including: a data depot for storing one or more data types selected from the group consisting of digitized music, analog music, video, games, information, and computer programs; a data dispensing device in communication with the data depot; a uniquely identifiable recordable data carrier configured for recording data from the data dispensing device; a database for keeping a record of the data recorded by a user onto said data carrier, at least a part of which database is stored remotely from said data carrier, wherein the database also maintains at least one of owner and possessor records for each said data carrier selected from the group consisting of ownership history of the data carrier, possession history of the data carrier, personal details of the past and present owner and possessor of the data carrier, demographic data about the user and owner of the data carrier, data recorded onto the data carrier at an authorized data dispensing device, data rented and the rental period, the user’s normal requirements, the user’s payment records, royalties paid to the copyright owner by the user, and favorite data of the user; wherein the data carrier is a multiple use recordable data carrier which includes key means for at least one function selected from activating the data carrier for receiving data, deactivating the data carrier for receiving data, activating the data carrier for releasing data, and deactivating the data carrier for releasing data, wherein the key means includes at least one of a hardware key and a software key linked to a microprocessor operatively associated with a data carrier; and wherein the data dispensing device is provided with a verification mechanism for verifying the authenticity of the key means.

2. A data vending system including: a data depot for storing one or more data types selected from the group consisting of digitized music, analog music, video, games, information, and computer programs; a data dispensing device in communication with the data depot; a uniquely identifiable recordable data carrier configured for recording data from the data dispensing device; a database for keeping a record of the data recorded by a user onto said data carrier, at least a part of which database is stored remotely from said data carrier, wherein the database also maintains at least one of owner and possessor records for each said data carrier selected from the group consisting of ownership history of the data carrier, possession history of the data carrier, personal details of the past and present owner and possessor of the data carrier, demographic data about the user and owner of the data carrier, data recorded onto the data carrier at an authorized data dispensing device, data rented and the rental period, the user’s normal requirements, the user’s payment records, royalties paid to the copyright owner by the user, and favorite data of the user; wherein the recordable data carrier is configured to be read only by a data carrier reader authorized for a particular data carrier or a particular class of data carrier.

3. A data vending system including: a data depot for storing one or more data types selected from the group consisting of digitized music, analog music, video, games, information, and computer programs; a data dispensing device in communication with the data depot; a uniquely identifiable recordable data carrier configured for recording data from the data dispensing device; a database for keeping a record of the data recorded by a user onto said data carrier, at least a part of which database is stored remotely from said data carrier, wherein the database also maintains at least one of owner and possessor records for each said data carrier selected from the group consisting of ownership history of the data carrier, possession history of the data carrier, personal details of the past and present owner and possessor of the data carrier, demographic data about the user and owner of the data carrier, data recorded onto the data carrier at an authorized data dispensing device, data rented and the rental period, the user’s normal requirements, the user’s payment records, royalties paid to the copyright owner by the user, and favorite data of the user; wherein the recordable data carrier is configured to permit or prohibit the reading of data recorded thereon or the recording of data thereon by a code which is altered periodically when the data carrier is in data communication with the data depot or the data dispensing device.

4. A data vending system including: a data depot for storing one or more data types selected from the group consisting of digitized music, analog music, video, games, information, and computer programs; a data dispensing device in communication with the data depot; a uniquely identifiable recordable data carrier configured for recording data from the data dispensing device; a database for keeping a record of the data recorded by a user onto said data carrier, at least a part of which database is stored remotely from said data carrier, wherein the database also maintains at least one of owner and possessor records for each said data carrier selected from the group consisting of ownership history of the data carrier, possession history of the data carrier, personal details of the past and present owner and possessor of the data carrier, demographic data about the user and owner of the data carrier, data recorded onto the data carrier at an authorized data dispensing device, data rented and the rental period, the user’s normal requirements, the user’s payment records, royalties paid to the copyright owner by the user, and favorite data of the user; wherein the recordable data carrier is configurable to permit reading of the data stored thereon for a predetermined period of time only, whereafter the data is processed in at least one way selected from marked as stale and later deleted, deleted immediately, and scrambled.

5. A data vending system as claimed in claim 4, wherein the processing of the data is initiated from a remote location by at least one of radio, satellite, data cable, and telephone cable.

6. A vending booth for use with a data vending system comprising: a data depot for storing one or more data types selected from the group consisting of digitized music, analog music, video, games, information, and computer programs; a data dispensing device in communication with the data depot; a uniquely identifiable recordable data carrier configured for recording data from the data dispensing device; a database for keeping a record of the data recorded by a user onto said data carrier, at least a part of which database is stored remotely from said data carrier; wherein the database also maintains at least one of owner and possessor records for each said data carrier selected from the group including ownership history of the data carrier, possession history of the data carrier, personal details of the past and present owners and possessors of the data carrier, demographic data about the users and owners of the data carrier, data recorded onto the data carrier at an authorized data dispensing device, data rented and the rental period, the user’s normal requirements, the user’s payment records, royalties paid to the copyright owner by the user, and favorite data of the user, the vending booth including a data dispensing device in communication with the data depot, the data dispensing device being configured for dispensing data to an authorized recordable data carrier configured for recording data from the data dispensing device and for exchanging data regarding the dispensed data with a database for storing user information for each recordable data carrier.

7. A vending booth as claimed in claim 6, wherein the booth includes electronic payment means in the form of a card or token reader configured to debit an account of a user responsive to the dispensing of data from the data dispensing device on the recordable data carrier.

8. A vending booth as claimed in claim 6, wherein the data dispensing device is in the form of a computer terminal having a user interface, a data writer configured for use with the data carrier, and a communication device for permitting data transfer communication with the data depot by means of one or more data transfer means selected from the group consisting of dedicated data lines, optic fiber cables, telephone lines, satellite link-up, radio transmission, and broadband cable.

There is not a clear time table for this lawsuit, but as with most of these suits, the parties will either settle, or it will be dropped because Apple and Sony can financially outlast nearly anyone.

Apple Itunes and Sony’s PSN Targets In Lawsuit
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