Another day, another lawsuit. A company called Robocast (http://www.robocast.com) is suing Apple, claiming the company has willfully incorporated its patented automated browsing technology in a number of products, including iTunes, the Apple TV and Front Row, without licensing their “invention,” reports “TechCrunch” (http://macte.ch/vlGUQ).
Robocast, which was founded by Damon Torres, who claims to have pioneered the use of automated web browsing in the nineties, has earlier sued Microsoft on similar grounds. In 2010 the company filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware against Microsoft for infringement of Robocast’s United States Patent No. 7,155,451. Robocast is being represented in the case by Foley & Lardner LLP, and Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP.
Patent number 7,155,451 is for an automated browsing system for publishers and users on networks serving Internet and remote devices. Here’s the summary: “A method of sequencing and scheduling web resources, via a software application that collects URLs and feeds them to a Web browser, so that the amount of clicks and decisions are reduced when browsing the Internet. The method begins after a computer user with Net-access encounters a URL that leads to a collection of other URLs that the software application has arranged to be presented in a continuous, show manner. This collection of resources then plays automatically, going from one resource to the next without the user being required to make a decision or click.
“The decision-making process is not inhibited, it is made optional. A method of inserting full-screen advertising, public service announcements, news, etc. has been developed. The server software application module described herein allows a publisher to stream URLs to a user who does not have the client-side software. The publishing module allows a user to format resources to a particularly desirable size and characteristic that promotes readability during a show viewing session. This same module can publish collections of nodes for others to view as a whole sequence, accessible via e-mail, screen saver or as a web resource.”
— Dennis Sellers