The inventor of technology used in data vending systems such as the iTunes and Playstation Network systems has sued Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Inc. and Foster City, Calif.-based Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC for patent infringement.
Inventor Benjamin Grobler is represented by intellectual property attorneys Christopher Banys and Richard C. Lin from the Palo Alto, Calif., office of The Lanier Law Firm. The lawsuits filed on March 27, 2012, allege that Apple and Sony are infringing U.S. Patent No. 6,799,084.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued the '084 patent to Mr. Grobler in 2004. The patent covers data vending systems that allow users to store and manage digital music, video, software and other items on a variety of electronic devices.
According to the lawsuit, Apple and Sony have infringed the patent by making and offering infringing data vending systems such as iTunes and the Playstation Network, and that the companies are inducing their customers' infringement by using these systems.
"You would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't listened to music or watched a video through iTunes or the Playstation Network," says Mr. Banys, head of the nationwide intellectual property practice at The Lanier Law Firm. "Tech giants can't just take an inventor's work and use it as their own. This lawsuit represents our client's effort to bring some accountability to the system."
The cases are Benjamin Grobler v. Apple Inc., No. CV-12-1534, and Benjamin Grobler v. Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC, No. CV-12-1526. Both are pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.