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Apple, Google and Pandora sued for music playback patent infringement

By | Published on Monday 19 August 2019


Apple, Google and Pandora have all been sued for patent infringement over the way their music services work. So that’s fun. We could do with more patent infringement in the Legal News section of CMU, to counter-balance the endless copyright chatter.

Three identical lawsuits filed in the US last week claim that each of the companies’ respective music platforms infringe four patents registered by software developer Alan Bartholomew between 2006 and 2015. Each relates to the transfer of digital media across a network.

The lawsuits have actually filed by a company called Post Media. The filings explain that Bartholomew himself is reaching retirement and “concerned about maintaining his software business in the volatile economy”. Not wanting to risk his family taking a financial hit on the legal action, he turned to Post Media “whose purpose in part is to conduct the work necessary to reward and provide compensation to Bartholomew”.

Apple, Google and Pandora would all have been aware of the patents and therefore created their services without compensating Bartholomew with either “specific intent to cause infringement or with wilful blindness to the resulting infringement”, it is then alleged.

Apple and Google have been subject to similar lawsuits over their music technology before. Post Media also sued Spotify and iHeartMedia in 2016 and Slacker in 2017.

None of the parties involved has as yet commented on the new litigation.