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Some interesting legal surprises in Apple’s most recent SEC filings… and they have nothing to do with the backdating of stock options.

First, we learn that a company called PhatRat, LLC, which “provides scientific measurement services for sporting purposes,” has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple over the Nike+iPod Sport Kit. The company’s website is very short on specifics about the technology it owns or has developed. Their homepage features an image of a small sensor and wristwatch combo. Other pages describe technology which measures and records athletic performance such as speed, airtime, spin etc. In an interesting side note, the company’s founder and chairman, Curtis A. Vock, is himself a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property prosecution and litigation.


The other interesting lawsuit revealed involves Apple’s iPod and its integration with iTunes. The plaintiff charges that Apple has created an illegal monopoly by using DRM protection which keeps music and movies sold through iTunes from playing on any portable devices other than the iPod. Apple’s motion to dismiss this suit was denied by the court on December 20th.

I’m sure we’ll be learning a lot more in the days to come.

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One Response to “Nike+iPod Lawsuit Revealed In Apple’s SEC Filing”

  1. Mike Fender says:

    The claims read dead-on the Nike+iPod product…no surprise since they were crafted after the product appeared.

    However, the text associated with the relevant figure only discribes measuring “weight”, for example to help runners and other keep track of weight loss.

    On my reading, I see no teaching that would be enough to enable the claim of measuring speed and distance. They will probably argue that when you can measure compression, you can measure pace, but I think with Apple and Nike money + a legitimate argument that the claims are not “enabled” in patent parlance, they will avoided shelling out to PhatRat.

    Haha, Curtis Vock has a patent application that has published with the title “System and Methods for Strengthening and Commercializing Intellectual Property.” US Publ. 20030101073.