New Patent Lawsuit Includes Apple, AT&T, and Verizon

Apple, AT&T and Verizon Wireless are named along with its partner, mobile music discovery solutions provider Shazam, in a patent lawsuit targeting a Shazam application that purportedly “infringes on under-the-radar firm Tune Hunter’s music identification system.”

Although the eight page complaint doesn’t discuss in detail the problems or accusations pertinent to the individual companies named in the charges, the suit specifically includes, Napster, Motorola, Gracenote, and many others as direct beneficiaries of Shazam’s “alleged infringement.”

In a nutshell, Tune Hunter argues that “nearly a dozen technology companies are contributing to the infringement of the U.S. patent that outlines 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. The system will allow for purchase of the full length of the identified music item or related music.”

Shazam first introduced its ShazamiD song identification application seven years ago.

So far, all we know is that Tune Hunter is requesting compensation for “unspecified damages” and an injunction that would restrict “further infringement.”

We will keep you posted as new details emerge.