Aug 15 - Microsoft Invented The I-Pod?

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 08-15-2005, 09:14 PM         #1
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Aug 15 - Microsoft Invented The I-Pod?

Shocking news and a new chapter in the digital music wars. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected a March 2004 patent application by Apple Computer for the iPod.
Apple's patent for a "graphical user interface and methods of use thereof in a multimedia player" was rejected last month and the patent examiner cited in the ruling an earlier application by Microsoft, filed after the iPod was introduced but before Apple sought its own patent.

"It's incredibly embarrassing," said industry analyst Rob Enderle. "That just makes it look like someone at Apple wasn't on the ball in terms of filing the patent at the right time."

Natalie Kerris, Apple spokeswoman, said the company invented and publicly released the iPod interface before the Microsoft patent application,
as cited by USPTO in its ruling.

"Apple has received many patents for inventions related to iPod, and has many more patents pending," Kerris said. "The U.S. patent process is often a lengthy one, involving much back and forth with the U.S. patent office. Apple will continue to pursue this patent application, as well as the many others covering iPod innovations."

Microsoft has stated that they don’t have any plans to block iPod sales. David Kaefer, Business Development Director for Microsoft's Intellectual Property and Licensing Group said:

"We have a long-standing practice of licensing things to Apple and licensing Apple's patents to use in our products. Our approach is to recognize that, frankly, we're both mutually dependent on the good ideas of one another."

The patent is discussion is the one John C Platt, a Microsoft employee, filed on behalf of the software giant for a “system for automatically generating music playlists based on one or more seed songs selected by a user.” The invention by Platt was called “Auto DJ”. This patent does not affect the clickwheel featured in the iPod.

xPod 360?

Although this patent doesn’t affect the right for Apple to sell the iPod, Apple might have to pay Microsoft royalties for every iPod it sells. More interesting, Microsoft could sell its own iPod variation as long as it does not infringe in any patent granted to Apple. Lawyers could also reach an agreement between both companies so Microsoft could use Apple patents and vice versa.

Earlier this year, Microsoft tapped Robbie Bach, Chief Xbox Officer and Senior Vice President of the Home and Entertainment Division, to revamp the company's digital-music strategy and compete better with Apple and its iPod, iTunes music service.

We can’t wait to learn what Bach and Microsoft are preparing in order to compete with Apple and its iPod portable music player.

Stay tuned. We’ll have more on Apple, Microsoft and iPod as it develops.

 http://news.teamxbox.com/ .. nted-the-iPod/

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