Apple settles iPod lawsuit for $10 million

Apple on Wednesday agreed to settle a patent dispute with Burst.com, ending two years of litigation.

Under the agreement, Apple will pay Burst.com US$10 million and get access to Burst.com’s patent portfolio, with some exceptions, Burst.com said in a press release. Apple won’t have access to four of Burst.com’s current and pending patents, including three pending patents relating to digital video recorder (DVR) technology. Court costs, expenses and attorney’s fees will reduce the proceeds to Burst.com to $4.6 million.

Burst agreed not to sue Apple over current or pending DVR patents, Burst.com said.

Burst alleged that Apple infringed four patents for transmission of compressed audio and video files in iTunes, iLife, QuickTime and the iPod.

In 2004, Burst.com asked Apple to license some of its patents, saying they were at the heart of the iPod. In January 2006, Apple sued Burst.com in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, seeking a judgment that the Burst.com patents were invalid and not infringed. Burst.com countersued in April 2006, alleging that Apple infringed four Burst.com patents.

Burst.com settled a similar case with Microsoft for US$60 million last year.

Apple and Burst.com officials could not be reached for comment.

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