Apple Faces Accusations From GE Owned Company Over iTunes Patents

Apple has to face yet another high-profile contender in court over a patent infringement dispute. This time, it's SightSound Technologies, a company which General Electric owns a 50 per cent share in.

The company is accusing Apple of violating its patents with the iTunes platform. SightSound Technologies was the first company to sell music over the web in 1995 as well as the first business to sell movies on web-based platforms, back in 1999.

SightSound secured three patents relating to video and audio transmission over the Internet. According to documents seen by Financial Times reporters, SightSound and Apple representatives had previously discussed the patents, but without reaching any significant conclusion.

The last exchange of information between the two companies on this matter was in 2003. Now though, the stakes are much higher - as the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry estimates that digital music revenues are at $5.2 billion (£3.3 billion).

However, it's been reported that Apple has filed a counterclaim against SightSound, denying allegations of infringement.

Source: FT (free registration)