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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