Doctor Sues Microsoft Over Zune Radio Patents
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It's never a dull moment in the Microsoft legal department, but even the most jaded of lawyers had to take notice of the most recent lawsuit served on the company, this time over the Zune media player. It's not an engineer or tech company, it's an eye doctor who is claiming patent infringement. Datamation has the story.
As Microsoft struggles to fight off several high-visibility patent lawsuits, an ophthalmologist in Wisconsin has filed another patent infringement suit that potentially could cost the software giant an eye-popping amount.
The suit, filed in U.S. District for the Western District of Wisconsin earlier this week, alleges that Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Zune music player's "Buy from FM" feature infringes a pair of patents that were granted in 2002.
Further, the doctor -- Edward Yavitz of Rockford, Ill. -- claims he contacted Microsoft in 2006, pointing out that he owned the two patents. He said he suggested Microsoft make an inexpensive upgrade to the Zune player and negotiate deals with large radio broadcasters that would enable users to buy music they heard on the Zune's FM receiver, whether they knew the performer or not.
Once implemented, his letter to Microsoft said, a user could simply press the device's Zune button when that person heard a piece of music that he or she wanted. That would cause the Zune to either automatically purchase and download the music if the user was within range of a Wi-Fi hotspot, or would do it later when a connection with the music seller was available.