Apple and several other companies are infringing on Tune Hunter's music identication system patent, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in the US District Court for the Eastern Division of Texas.
According to CNET, the patent, awarded to Tune Hunter in 2005 covers:
a music identification/purchasing system, specifically to a method for marking the time and the name of the radio station in portable device such as a key holder, watch, cellular phone, beeper or the like which will allow the user to learn via internet or regular telephone the name of the song, artist and/or music company by matching the stored data with broadcast archive.
Also named in the suit are Shazam Entertainment, creators of the Shazam iPhone application, Amazon.com, AT&T Mobility, Gracenote, LG, Motorola, Samsung, and others. The suit claims that Shazam's service violates the patent, and that the other named companies are benefiting from the infringement.
The Texas Eastern District Court has become a popular place for filing patent lawsuits recently because of a reputation for fast (and therefore less expensive) trials.