Apple's iTunes infringing on RSS patent, suit claims

Ann Knef Feb. 7, 2008, 7:51am

Restricted Spending Solutions has filed a patent suit against Apple Inc. over the iTunes Allowance function of the iTunes Store in federal court in East St. Louis.

Represented by Paul A. Lesko, Steve Smith, Jo Anna Pollock and Katharine A. Wark of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, RSS claims Apple infringed on its "'064" patent.

The '064 patent claims a method for allocating funds in pre-established accounts for use by customers and limiting how the funds in each customer account may be spent on audio and video entertaintment.

"Apple created, uses and maintains iTunes which utilizes the iTunes Allowance feature...," the complaint states.

"The iTunes Allowance feature is a component of iTunes which allows family members and friends to create an account for automatically transferring chosen dollar amount(s) via a credit card to a recipient's iTunes Store account for use by the recipient in the iTunes Store."

Michael J. Picciallo and Peter J. Butch, III are the inventors of the patent which was issued in November 2006, and currently assigned to RSS of Newport Beach, Calif., the complaint states.

RSS claims that Apple has directly or indirectly infringed the '064 patent at a minimum by making, using, selling and offering for sale the iTunes Allowance component on iTunes.

Among other things, RSS wants Apple to recall, collect, destroy or deliver all products that infringe on the '064 patent, and award infringement damages, lost profits and/or a reasonable royalty, treble damages, costs and attorneys' fees.

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