Apple, Google, Napster face patent lawsuit

A defunct online movie service has sued Apple Computer, Google, and Napster claiming patent infringement over the distribution of video over the Internet, an Associated Press report said

The Associated Press report said the patent in question, filed in 2001 and granted in 2005, outlines the business model for offering video content from various providers to consumers over the TV and the Internet, Intertainer said in its lawsuit.

The report added that Intertainer claims Apple, Google and Napster are using the patent without permission.

The lawsuit, filed last week in US District Court in Marshall, Texas, seeks damages and a permanent injunction, the report said.

The report quoted Apple spokesman Steve Dowling as saying the company does not comment on pending litigation, while Napster spokeswoman Dana Harris said the company was looking into the matter. A call to Google for comment was not immediately returned.

Intertainer launched in 1998 with investments from Comcast, Intel, Microsoft, Sony and General Electric's NBC. The service streamed movies over the Internet and provided movies on demand for cable services. The company shut down its service in 2002.

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