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microsoft pwns apple


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http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,3 ... 78,00.html

APPLE'S IPOD PATENT GAFFE

Computer firm Apple may have to pay Microsoft £6 for each iPod it sells after a huge licensing lapse.

Lawyers at Bill Gates' firm filed a patent for technology behind the hugely successful digital music player two months before Apple.

The US Patent Office has ruled that Microsoft has the right to charge competitors a licence fee for each iPod sold.

Furious, Apple has said it will appeal the decision but at the moment it looks as though the firm will be paying a high price for the success of its product.

The iPod was launched in November 2001 but Apple waited until July 2002 to file for a patent; Microsoft snuck in to license some of the technology the previous May.

David Kaefer, Microsoft's director of intellectual property licensing, said it was open to letting other firms patent its innovations.

He said: "In general, our policy is to allow others to license our patents so they can use our innovative methods in their products.

"Microsoft and Apple have previously licensed their respective patent portfolios to one another and we maintain a good working relationship with Apple."

The dispute comes days after Microsoft declared war on the iPod and pledged to come up with a series of rivals.

So far, 21 million iPods have been sold worldwide, 18 million in the last year alone.

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So no one finds it suspicious that MS filet the patent two months before Apple. I'm not saying who sold who what and who did industrial espionage over what in where, but I just don't get it who Apple was so "careless" not to check if the patent for one of their product is not colliding with THEIR BIGGEST RIVAL. And we all know Apple, they are like a 600 pound gorilla when it comes to patents.

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