Apple asks court to condemn Burst.com patents

Out-Law News | 09 Jan 2006 | 9:59 pm |

Apple Computer took pre-emptive action against streaming media company Burst.com on Wednesday, seeking a court's declaration that Apple's products are either not in breach of patents held by Burst.com, or that the patents are invalid.

“Unfortunately, we have been unable to resolve the disagreement with Burst.com directly, so we are asking the court to decide,” an Apple spokesperson told CNET News.com

The suit, filed with the US District Court in San Francisco, came after negotiations between the two firms over a possible license for iPod, iTunes and Quicktime products broke down, according to Burst.com.

The firm confirmed that it would shortly be filing a counterclaim for patent infringement.

According to InformationWeek.com the dispute centres on three US patents. These relate generally to apparatus and methods for the transmission of audio and video information.

Last year, Burst.com settled a patent and antitrust suit against Microsoft, in which the software giant took a license to Burst's patents and paid a lump sum of $60 million. Since then, Burst.com says it has been in patent licensing discussions with several companies engaged in the distribution of audio and video content on computer networks.