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GE alleges iTunes patent breaches

May 24, 2012

A General Electric-owned company is preparing a courtroom battle with Apple claiming the iTunes platform violated its patent rights.

SightSound Technologies, which is 50 per cent owned by GE, is seeking unspecified damages from Apple for alleged infringement of three patents it obtained to transmit video and audio over the Internet.

The US company obtained the specific patents between 1993 and 1999. SightSound, which is no longer active in online media downloads, was the first company to sell music over the web in 1995 and four years later became the first company to sell a movie online.

SightSound reportedly contacted Apple when it secured its patents because it wanted to include the group’s operating system in its download service – but a deal was never struck.

Apple has filed a counterclaim against SightSound denying the infringement allegations.

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