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Smart Audio Sues Apple with Delco Electronics Patent

1 - Smart Audio Technologies vs. Apple - patent infringement case
Texas based Smart Audio Technologies has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in the Delaware District Court. The patent infringement lawsuit concerns Apple's media players in respect to their ability to "modify a play list of a random access player." Oddly Smart Audio only identifies the iPod nano by name. Yet the most interesting aspect of this case, if there is one, is that Smart Audio's key exhibit is that of patent assigned to Delco Electronics.  

 

The patent that Apple is allegedly infringing upon is that of patent 6,185,163. This particular patent is duly noted as being assigned to Delco Electronics Corporation regarding a "Vehicle audio system having random access player with play list control dated February 6, 2001. Below are patent figures 1 and 2. The second patent figure clearly illustrates a "Playlist" feature, which is at the center of this lawsuit.

 

2 - Smart Audio, patent figures
 

One of the points worth mentioning about this patent, is that all of the patent claims are prefaced with either the phrasing "A vehicle audio system," or "The vehicle audio system." Does Apple have a Vehicle Audio System? Not at the moment. So how does Apple's handheld media players relate to the claims about a vehicle audio system? Yes, I'm shaking my head like you are on this one. Is this another patent troll case? Well, that's for you to judge. 

 

Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of certain legal cases/ lawsuits which are part of the public record for journalistic news purposes. Readers are cautioned that Patently Apple does not offer an opinion on the merit of the case and strictly presents the allegations made in said legal cases / lawsuits. A lawyer should be consulted for any further details or analysis. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments. On most legal cases, comments will be closed. See our Legal Archives for other patent infringement cases.

 

Here are a Few Sites covering our Original Report: MacSurfer, Twitter, Facebook, Apple Investor News, Google Reader, Macnews, iPhone World Canada, MarketWatch, MacDailyNews, Techmeme, and more.

 

Comments

Yes it's a patent troll case. These are idiotic....how did someone get/allow a patent for "a play list modification system that provides alteration of a play list without interrupting the generation of an output by the random access player, the play list modification system having:"?

That's like allowing a patent for placing records in a particular order and then reshuffling them before/at the time of play.

Seriously, it's gotten to where I think I could patent "3-4 inch green leafy blades that protrude from the earth" so I can sue anyone with a lawn.

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