<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d24605170\x26blogName\x3dWhat\x27s+New\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://newsko.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://newsko.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-8578980419657163974', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
   What's New[definition].  
 
    
Google
Google Web
« Home

Posts

HP opens Singapore office to protect IP
Oracle fires a shot across Red Hat’s bows
RCA announces HDV5000 HD DVD player
Teclast's other "dual core" DAP, the T19
Pioneer's "Smart theater" with wireless rears
Ricoh Caplio R4 superzoom compact reviewed
Opticon-toting driver gets $50 fine for changing t...
Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD player gets hands-on treatmen...
mobiBLU's B153 153-hour player US-bound
Yahoo buys Meedio, but not Meedio TV
 
     Archives
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
 
     Links




Word of the Day

Article of the Day

This Day in History

In the News

Quotation of the Day

Burst.com countersues Apple

Meet Richard Lang. The founder, CEO, President, and Chairman of the Board of Burst.com seems to know how to rest on his laurels and get paid for it too:

The youthful-looking 52-year-old lives on an 11-acre estate among apple trees in the hippy town of Sebastopol, north of San Francisco, where he plays guitar in local bands and his wife runs an "equine experiential learning institute" that helps clients get in touch with themselves by riding horses. But there's nothing laid-back about his strategy at Burst.com, the Santa Rosa (Calif.) company he co-founded 18 years ago. With just two employees, Burst holds 10 U.S. patents, and its focus is on asking big companies to license its technology—and suing them if they don't.

That's exactly what's happening this week, as Burst.com filed a patent infringement countersuit against Apple yesterday, claiming that iPods, iTunes, iTMS, and Quicktime all violate Burst's patent rights. The suit seeks triple damages plus court costs, which could add up to over US$1 billion, and an "injunction against further infringement" which would more or less shut down iPod and iTMS sales. While Apple could handily afford to just roll over and pay up, its shareholders would then storm Cupertino wielding stylish pitchforks and well-tempered firebrands, so Apple should be expected to defend vigorously against the claims, as most lawsuit defendants tend to do.

The original suit here came in January from Apple, seeking to invalidate Burst's patents and Apple's infringement thereof in a preemptive strike, as it were. Skimming the suit filing and the patent texts (4963995, 5995705, 5057932, and 5164839), it seems like Burst is trying to patent caching and asynchronous playback of downloaded media files.

The '995, '932, '839 and '705 Patents contain one-hundred eighty-six (186) patent claims covering various aspects of receiving, processing and delivering audio and/or video content. In general, the patents disclose techniques that enable efficient handling and delivery of audio and/or video content, while maintaining the integrity and quality of the content and its playback.

If it seems strange for Apple to start defending against legal claims that haven't been filed yet, consider that Burst got a $60 million settlement from Microsoft on similar claims last year. Microsoft settled the day before a scheduled hearing on the very convenient disappearance of certain e-mails regarding business with Burst, and the Redmond giant now holds proper, paid-for licenses for the Burst patents. Back in January, Burst claimed that it really just wanted Apple to pay up for a license, and then there wouldn't have to be any nasty, ugly lawsuits.

Incidentally, that $60 million brought Burst's 2005 revenues up to $60,300,000. The $300,000 not accorded to the lawsuit settlement isn't explained in the company's annual report, but are not related to those license fees. Technically, Microsoft paid for the license, not damages or anything else. In any case, it's a huge jump from the 2004 revenues of $2,500. That's right: two thousand five hundred dollars. This company has given up on competing in the marketplace—Lang says he had to because of market pressure from Microsoft—and switched to all litigation, all the time. Ask SCO how that business plan seems to be working out in the long term (though NTP might have some advice for Burst).

So what did Burst do with the windfall from Ballmer & co? Invest in the business, restart operations, hire a few engineers? Oh no. First, it paid off its long-term debt (good boys) of $1.5 million, and the rest got turned into a one-time dividend. It seems that Lang held about 3 million shares in the company, out of a total of 43 million, so he got $3 million out of the deal personally. Not bad. The patents may or may not hold water in court—they have never been upheld by a judge or jury—but they sure seem to keep the good times rolling for a select few.

[ Discuss ]

Burst.com countersues Apple - Tuesday, April 18, 2006 -

11:25 PM

This is an excellent blog. Keep it going.You are providing
a great resource on the Internet here!
If you have a moment, please take a look at my tv on dvd site.
Have a great week!    

Post a Comment

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner



 


Linux Tips and Tricks - Mox Diamond - Arcane Denial - Sylvan Library
Linux Tips and Stuff - ba-zoo-ra - iBUG teks/

© 2006 What's New