Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 08:30 PM
"A patent-holding Illinois ophthalmologist has sued Microsoft over the Zune, alleging the software company illegally added his patented technology to the media player after he tried to license it to Microsoft. Dr. Edward Yavitz, of the Yavitz Eye Center in Rockford, Ill., says Microsoft willingly infringed two of his patents that cover a method for quickly tagging and downloading music via a device's FM radio receiver. A September 2008 firmware update for the Zune let users buy music through the FM app, by tagging a song and downloading via wi-fi. In his complaint (PDF), Yavitz says he sent Microsoft a letter in October 2006 to pitch them the idea for the next Zune. His patents – Nos. 6,463,649 and 6,473,792 – were both filed in 2000 and granted in 2002."
File this one under odd. Dr. Yavitz is claiming he not only invented the idea of buying a song over the air, but radio tagging too. Uh not quite. I'm not a lawyer, so I can't say for sure that he's wrong but I think before the 3.0 firmware update, everyone and their dog was calling for the wifi to be used in this way. His sending two unanswered letters isn't what caused them to put wireless purchasing on the device. It likely had more to do with this than anything else. And this is the best part: "Calls to the Yavitz Eye Center were unsuccessful because the business was closed, and Yavitz's phone number was unlisted." Call me cynical but this isn't the stuff great lawsuits are made of.