Apple is facing a infringement lawsuit from c4cast.com over allegations that the interactive resource features in iTunes come from a patent it holds. c4cast.com is a California-based company, but chose to file its case in U.S. District Court in Eastern Texas -- a court that's known to be a favorite of patent trolls.
Apple faces iTunes patent infringement lawsuit from c4cast.com
c4cast.com's patent, number 7,958,204, describes a system where information and resources are given to users based on their activity. That's a reasonable description of what iTunes does when it offers music suggestions based on your listening habits.
The case filing states, according to Patently Apple, that Apple has been offering
...apparatuses and systems and providing methods practiced on Defendant's iTunes system for maintaining a collection of interactive resources, assigning points to individual resources based on amount of participant access, and modifying the collection based on the points assigned to the resources covered by one or more claims of the '204 Patent to the injury of c4cast.
c4cast.com appears to be more than just another patent holder. The company designs analytic systems for the economic analysis market, and describes itself as a company that has been "innovating, developing, and perfecting advanced statistical techniques that have translated into revolutionary products and services."
The company is based in Pasadena, California, but chose to file its lawsuit against Apple in a Texas court with a history of favoring patent holders. The court also has a reputation for being a favorite among patent holding companies, or patent trolls.
That, however, doesn't necessarily mean c4cast.com is a patent troll. It's possible the company simply wanted to stack the deck in its favor in hopes of either pushing Apple into settling out of court or pushing up the likelihood of an in-court win.
Apple hasn't commented on c4cast.com's lawsuit.