May 4, 2006 12:32 PM PDT

Apple patent covers wireless iTunes distribution

A patent application filed by Apple Computer in December 2004 appears to cover a method of buying a song, ring tone or music video from an online store over a wireless network.

The application, spotted by Macsimum News, was published Thursday on the Web site of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It describes an invention that allows cell phone or wireless handheld users to interact with an online music store--such as iTunes--and mark a song or video file that can be downloaded to a computer at a later time.

Apple representatives could not be immediately reached for comment.

The invention appears to be a way for Apple to capture revenue from music fans with short attention spans. For example, cell phone users on the go who hear a song might want to purchase that tune right away, but by the time they get back to their PC, they've forgotten the name of the song or the artist.

According to the application, the invention would allow cell phone or wireless-PDA users to essentially bookmark a song or video on an online music store. Then, they return to their PC, they could download it over a fast network. If bandwidth permits, they might be able to download the song or file directly to their phone.

Verizon's V Cast service already allows customers to download songs to their phones. Verizon was one of the first carriers in the United States to deploy a fast network based on EV-DO (Evolution Data Optimized) technology. Other carriers are deploying their own fast networks based on EV-DO and a competing standard called HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access).

Apple has dipped its toes into the mobile-phone market through its partnership with Motorola on phones like the Rokr and Slvr. Those phones use the iTunes interface, but users have to put songs on the phone by connecting them to a Mac or PC.

See more CNET content tagged:
invention, EVDO, online music company, song, HSDPA

7 comments

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Nice Try Apple!
Did you guys forget many online stores accessible via mobile devices already offer this feature. Aren't you guys really just trying to patent a "Save for Later feature"
Posted by gnathanson (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Implementation of the idea
How about this: An Apple branded cell phone, with large flash memory and a camera. You bring up the iPod/iTunes menu. You hold up the CD while you are shopping and scan the bar code with the camera. The camera then links to iTunes and buys the CD online. You can then copy to the phone whatever you have memory for, or wait till you get home and down load the complete CD.

Boy will the CD shops be pissed!
Posted by micben (1 comment )
Link Flag
Nice Try Apple!
Did you guys forget many online stores accessible via mobile devices already offer this feature. Aren't you guys really just trying to patent a "Save for Later" feature?
Posted by gnathanson (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Look again!
The patent from Applewas submitted over two years ago, there
fella!

Here's the title:

A patent application filed by Apple Computer in December 2004
appears to cover a method of buying a song, ring tone or music
video from an online store over a wireless network.
Posted by NeverFade (402 comments )
Link Flag
Just for mobiles?
Do you think Apple will only use this for current mobile devices? I bet that they want to build their own mobile device, or make a mobile operating system, or phone-enable the iPod.
Posted by johnkemnetz (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
De Ja Vue
De ja vue, now where have I seen this technology in current use!

Looks like, the new revised Ma Bell's lawyers will be killing apples new toy in double quick time so as to speak!!!!!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Patent of the Idea or the Method?
there is no mention of the method used to do this... but you can only patent methods not ideas. otherwise there would never be the "better mousetrap"

once a mouse trap is patented then no one else could make mousetraps.
also, there was the guy that patented the one click purchase... now you need to pay him if your purchase takes less than two clicks


same here, if Apple were to be allowed to patent wireless purchases enmass then we are in for a slew of new lawsiuts
Posted by qazwiz (208 comments )
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