E-Data and Apple have settled a patent case over selling music online in Europe. E-Data’s “Freeny” patent was established in 1985 and covers the transmission of information to a remote point-of-sale location, where the information is then transferred to a physical object. Basically, if you have a music service that allows tunes to be dropped onto any physical medium – CD, iPod, robot dog – then you’ll be hearing from E-Data.
You can bet that the person who thought the patent up back when Phil Collins was in the charts with Sussidoo was probably only dimly aware of ARPANET, if at all. Since MP3 didn’t exist then either, no doubt they dreamed of the 150 hour wait it would take for one of these new, exciting “CD” things to come down a high-technology 14k modem line.
E-Data have also settled with Microsoft in the past and, buoyed by these successes have launched no less than 14 more infringement suits against companies including Amazon and the New York Times. E-Data don’t actually make a product or operate their own music service.
E-Data Chairman Bert Brodsky said: “This settlement with Apple marks another important milestone, as we aggressively pursue companies that are infringing upon our intellectual property. We have identified additional companies that are infringing upon our intellectual property, both in the U.S. and abroad, and will seek the necessary legal actions to ensure that our rights are enforced worldwide.”
Tantalisingly, none of the financial details of E-Data’s settlement deals have been made public – we’d like to know how much they’re charging.