Another day, another lawsuit. A company called Hybrid Audio is suing Apple, Dell, HTC and other companies of infringing a MP3-related patent for “Signal Processing Utilizing a Tree-Structured Array,” reports “AppleInsider” (http://www.appleinsider.com).
The application references “audio signals,” but makes no mention of MP3 files or the MPEG-1 Layer III standard. However, the lawsuit targets Apple, HTC and Dell for creating devices that allow playback of MP3 files, notes “AppleInsider.”
The iPod nano, iPhone 4, iPad, MacBook Pro, and iTunes software are specifically mentioned in the lawsuit. The suit targets products “that contain or use hardware and/or software for processing audio information in accordance with the MPEG-1 Layer III (MP3) standard,” according to “AppleInsider.”
As part of their compensation, Hybrid Audio is seeking a judgment and order requiring each Defendant named in the lawsuit to pay Plaintiff damages including treble damages for willful infringement. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, the lawsuit capital of the universe.
According to “Bloomberg Businessweek” (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-11-29/apple-lawyers-up-for-patent-showdowns-with-nokia.html), Apple has been the most-sued technology company since 2008, the year after the iPhone was introduced, topping Microsoft, HP and Dell according to LegalMetric Inc., a compiler of litigation data based in St. Louis. The company faced 27 new patent infringement suits in 2009 alone.
— Dennis Sellers