Monday, September 08, 2008

Prior art to iPod competitors

File under "my enemy's enemy is my friend" (from PC World)-->

Apple has admitted that a British man played a part in developing the iconic and extremely profitable iPod, although he has so far received no money for his invention.

In 1979 Kane Kramer from Hertfordshire filed a patent for a digital music player that stored just three and a half minutes of music to a solid state chip - limiting media options to just one short song.

Nonetheless, a company was set up by Kramer to bring the IXI to a commercial release, but it slipped into the public domain in 1988 when the firm failed to raise the £60,000 needed to renew international patents.

Because of this patent lapse, Kramer has received no money from the sale of any of the 163 million iPods Apple has so far sold.

However, Apple recently contacted Kramer and hired him as a consultant in a legal case against another company that claimed the iPod infringed on its own patents, Burst.


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