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Patent suit targets Apple, Microsoft, others over digital distribution

A newly filed lawsuit takes aim at Apple and its App Store and iTunes Store, alleging that they violate two patents related to digital distribution of content. In addition, Apple has reportedly settled in another patent-related suit filed earlier this year.

Olympic Developments vs. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon

A new lawsuit filed in this week in a U.S. District Court in the Central District of California, Los Angeles Division, challenges a number of high-profile technology companies that distribute content and software over the Internet. Olympic Developments AG LLC believes that the defendants are in violation of two patents entitled "Transactional Processing System" and "Device for Controlling Remote Interactive Receiver."

Named in the suit are Apple and its App Store and iTunes Store, Amazon.com's Kindle Store, Barnes and Noble's Nook Store, pay-per-view services from satellite TV provider DirecTV, Microsoft's Xbox Live Marketplace, Nintendo's Wii Shop Channel, Sony's PlayStation Network Store, and the Steam gaming storefront from developer Valve.

U.S. Patent No. 5,475,585, "Transactional Processing System," is for a system that provides products and services through credit card transactions. Filed in 1994, it describes "real-time authorization of payments for a plurality of products and services."

U.S. Patent No. 6,246,600, "Device for Controlling Remote Interactive Receiver," was first filed in 1997. It describes a "remote" that stores financial information.

Olympic Developments has alleged that Apple is in violation of both patents, as its digital storefronts allow users to receive "desired programming selections," and also grant the ability to "access and/or view and/or purchase products from a remote programming system," the suit reads, via devices like the iPhone and iPad.

Apple reportedly settles suit with Sharing Sound

Many of the same companies in this week's new lawsuit were also named in a complaint filed earlier this year by Sharing Sound, including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Barnes and Noble. According to TechCrunch, Apple has opted to settle in that lawsuit, filed in May.

Sharing Sound is the owner of U.S. Patent No. 6,247,130, entitled "Distribution of Musical Products by a Web Site Vendor Over the Internet."

Author Robin Wauters said that most companies in the lawsuit already moved to settle with Sharing Sound. Apple is reportedly the latest.