Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Affinity Labs of Texas v. Apple & AAMP

On July 26, 2011, Affinity Labs of Texas filed suit for patent infringement against Apple and AAMP of Florida. The suit was filed in Beaumont, TX. Affinity Labs has sued Apple before [Ars/Chris Foresman] over different patents.

In this case, the patents in suit are:

With regard to Apple:

Upon information and belief, each of the Defendants has infringed and, if not enjoined, will continue to infringe one or more claims of the ‘228 Patent, without authority, one or more of the following acts: (a) making, using, offering for sale, or selling within the United States products that infringe one or more claims of the ‘228 Patent, in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 271(a); (b) importing into the United States products that infringe one or more claims of the ‘228 Patent, in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 271(a); (c) inducing infringement of one or more claims of the ‘228 Patent, in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 271(b); and/or (d) contributing to the infringement of one or more claims of the ‘228 Patent, in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 271(c) (the “acts of infringement of the ‘228 Patent”).

Similar allegations are made regarding the '595.

The '228 relates generally to conveying media metadata from something like an iPod for display on something like an iPod dock. Claim 1 of the '228 reads:

1. A media managing method comprising:

  • storing a media file in a memory system of a portable hand-held device that is not a conventional personal computer or a laptop computer, wherein the portable hand-held device further has a display and a processor;
  • storing a collection of information about the media file in the memory system, wherein the collection includes data representing a name for the media file;
  • communicating at least some of the collection from the portable hand-held device to a different electronic device in order to allow a user to view a soft button comprising the name on an associated display of the different electronic device;
  • and thereafter receiving a signal in the portable hand-held device to begin playing the media file by the portable hand-held device in response to a selection of the soft button at the different electronic device; and
  • outputting a played version of the media file across a physical interface of the portable hand-held device while the media file remains stored on the portable hand-held device, wherein the physical interface is configured to facilitate a communicative coupling of the portable hand-held device and the different electronic device, further wherein the physical interface is not circular and has a width dimension and a length dimension that is longer than the width dimension.

The '595 relates to altering output of a played audio file in connection with a receipt of an incoming telephone call, but with some limitations related to streaming broadcast apps:

1. An audio system comprising:

  • a portable device having a single physical interface configured to releasably engage a contacting portion of an interconnection system to form at least a portion of a communication path between the portable device and a separate electronic device, 
    • wherein the physical interface has a generally rectangular shape and is configured to couple a first conductive element of the interconnection system with a component of the portable device that outputs data and couple a second conductive element of the interconnection system with a recharging circuit of the portable device,
    • wherein the portable device is configured to accept an over the air download of an application that allows the portable device to request an audio stream representing a local broadcast signal for a channel located remote from a then current location of the portable device;
  • the portable device having a wireless communication module operable to receive an incoming telephone call and the audio stream; and
  • the portable device having an audio output engine configured to output information representing a played audio file to the separate electronic device via the physical interface and to alter an outputting of the played audio file in connection with a receipt of the incoming telephone call and configured to output the audio stream.