It’s a great story to be the underdog … but it’s nicer to be the top dog.
Unfortunately, being top dog means being treated like one. Apple is now being hit with intellectual property and patent lawsuits almost weekly. The latest one, from Individual Networks, hits Apple where it hurts: the iTunes/iPod empire.
Individual Network’s complaint accuses Apple’s entire music ecosystem of profiteering from iTunes sales and points to anything which can download copies of that content, including the iPod, as contributing to the reported damage. If won under ideal circumstances, the suit would grant the plaintiff not just royalties for every iTunes song or video sold but also a “reasonable” percentage of the revenue from associated devices such as all iPods. The Apple TV and iPhone may also be subject to a future ruling.
While it’s incredibly annoying that companies that do nothing but dream up squiggles on paper and then get them patented could potentially make billions off of others’ hard work of actually building a real product and a real business, that’s the business/legal world of the USA today.
Welcome to Microsoft’s world, Apple.[tags] apple, legal, IP, patents, microsoft, john koetsier [/tags]