Apple Blunder gives Bill Gates iPod Royalties amounting to Hundreds of Millions


Apple blunder gives Gates iPod royalty
14 August 2005

Katherine Griffiths said:
Apple Computer may be forced to pay royalties to Microsoft for every iPod it sells after it emerged that Bill Gates's software giant beat Steve Jobs' firm in the race to file a crucial patent on technology used in the popular portable music players. The total bill could run into hundreds of millions of dollars.

Although Apple introduced the iPod in November 2001, it did not file a provisional patent application until July 2002, and a full application was filed only in October that year.
Entire Article:


wanna be power user
Yeah...I saw this too. What were they thinking? Anybody have any other info that would explain WHY they would not have applied for the patent earlier?



Staff member
Last I've read, Microsoft's application was rejected also. So: No harm done yet? Also: It's not about "the iPod", rather about a few _parts_ of the iPod's interface...


Apple's patent is 6 months before micro$oft filed's all good for now.

Dam you bill gates for being a cheap bastard!!!! and trying to rip off Apple, like usual...


OmniWeb Convert
From the article
In the meantime, Microsoft submitted an application in May 2002 to patent some key elements of music players, including song menu software.

Apple brought out the iPod in 2001, prior art == no patent and no payments

Apple and Microsoft were two of several companies that developed portable players, but the iPod, with its sleek design and user-friendly controls, has dominated the market.
can you trust a journalist who says Microsoft developed a portable player (if they did they kept it quiet).


This technology patent stuff is completely out of control. Companies are literally sprouting now where all they do is instigate patent claims and sue people. They don't design, write or build ANYTHING!

Sure, Apple may have blown it a bit, but for crying out loud, Microsoft of all companies moving in on the claim. Unbelievable.

I haven't read all the info top to bottom, but from what I've read, I personally wouldn't give a patent to either Apple and CERTAINLY not Microsoft for the interface components. I realize that companies (Apple) have to protect their stuff, thus the patent applications, but all this nonsense with these ethereal concepts like interface components is too much. What, so nobody can make a list menu now? It's not THAT innovative, it's just well organized and simple. Nothing patent-worthy (in terms of UI).

On a side note, I just patented the concept of organizing large units of words into a massive volume, sub-organized by smaller pre-organized sections. I call it a "Book" and "Chapters". A lot of people owe me a lot of money.



web developer
Huh. Isn't it a basic requirement for a patent application to be able to prove the first implementation of the invention?


OS X Supreme Being
All of the speculation about this has been seriously overblown. The tinfoil hat people are all speculating that MS owns the patent on the iPod because they beat Apple to the punch. They are wrong.

Move along people, nothing to see here.


Well, if Apple were to get sued by MS we would see some interesting things happen. First, Apple may be just the folks we need to fight against the wild and outlandish crap happening with patents today (perhaps it would be good to abolish patents to some degree or another).

Secondly, perhaps it would be a strong catalyst for the MS vs. Apple storm/war thats brewing.

I can guess that if things start to get a little crazy we will see the termination of the MacBU at MS and then we'll see a true Office killer released by Apple AND a strong integration of WINE (and or Bochs) into the next iteration of Mac OS X.

Interesting times ahead for sure.