Sunday, August 21, 2005

Microsoft patents Apple iPOD's Interface

Bloggers have dubbed Microsoft's move an "iPOD killer". If someone was talking bets, I'd wager that Apple never pays Microsoft a cent; bloggers and other tech pundits snickered at the prospect of Steve Jobs having to pay Bill Gates royalties on the beloved iPods. Back in 2002, Microsoft outraced Apple to the patent office to patent technologies that support the iPod's rotational wheel interface; after which it stated that it has a it has a long-standing policy of licensing its patents to others. Putting at stake the millions of iPods Apple has shipped. Fear not though Apple still has loads of options from a legal perspective; first Apple and Microsoft signed a five-year agreement in 1997 to share technology. When the deal expired in 2002, the music-player patents in question may have been covered. Second; this is not a supreme-court decision, Apple can file a declaration stating that it invented the technology before Microsoft filed its patent request, as evidenced by the fact that iPods were already on the market at the time. In such a case the patent office will have to start an investigation and determine who invented the technology. For more on this check:,+Apple+in+iPod+patent+tussle/2100-1047_3-5830435.html


Yazan Malakha said...

Why patent a rival's technology?
My thoughts would be down the line of Microsoft Hardware Division rolling out a Windows Media Center that features the same technology as the iPod sometime soon.

Unless Apple spurts out a video iPod, such a technology would shift the market, Windows Media has already proven popular in several venues. There are several sites where you can rent/purchase downloadable movies/music/the works from. This would free music listeners from the iTunes monopoly. More on that soon

Omarello said...

I am not sure about
Microsoft Hardware Division rolling out a Windows Media Player that features the same technology as the iPod sometime soon
cause Microsoft didn't even put an effort in penetrating that market (unlike lets say Creative, BenQ and many other)... but who knows.

What makes me laugh is that not only is it obvious that they have "stolen" the technology, if I might say, but they are also confident when offering to license the technology heheh
“In general, our policy is to allow others to license our patents so they can use our innovative methods in their products,” Kaefer said in a statement.

Yazan Malakha said...

Well if we carefully examine Microsoft's history, you'll see that most products came after somebody else released them. Microsoft never initiates anything, but has a well known history for making successful stuff on the market better (not necessarily true with all products).

Check this

Graphical Interface (MacOS)
Microsoft's Answer (Windows Operating System)

Web Browser (Netscape)
Microsoft's Answer (Internet Explorer)

Media Player (Real Media (it used to be bundled with Windows!!))
Microsoft's Answer Windows Media Player

Handheld Computers (Apple Newton / PalmOS)
Microsoft's Answer: Windows Mobile Edition

Tivo PVR
Microsoft's Answer: Windows Media Center Edition

the list goes on an on.... even DOS which was that catalyst for Microsoft's success was based on another operating system that I cannot recall at the moment.

Roba said...

I read about that a few days back, it's depressing ya zalameh!

Omarello said...

ohh and don't forget C# and the whole .net thing.

they ripped it off of Sun Microsystems.