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Spotify sued by PacketVideo for patent infringement

Spotify launched in the United States less than two weeks ago and it is already the target of a patent infringement lawsuit. A firm called PacketVideo is suing and alleges that Spotify is infringing on patent 5,646,276 for “a device for the distribution of music information in digital form.” The patent describes a method of accessing music through a “central memory device” that is connected to a “communications network and has a databank of digitized music information.” Surely, your computer, mobile devices and the cloud  are all “central memory devices” that can be used to access Spotify over communications networks, but the lawsuit sounds a bit far fetched to us. After all, there are dozens of competing services such as Rhapsody, Apple iCloud, Amazon, Pandora and Slacker that offer a similar experience. According to TechDirt, PacketVideo purchased the patent in question in 1995.