The Fine Art of Persuasion via Email

This week, I’ve faced a few work challenges that I’ve had to resolve remotely as, I’m sure, have you. But as the situations in question escalated, and I found myself getting a little hot under the collar, I had to put my complaint-email writing skills to the test.

Patent Dispute Goes After iTunes

It just wouldn’t feel right getting through a month without another lawsuit. Apple (s aapl) is in the firing line this time from Online News Link, which claims Apple infringed on patent No. 7,508,789. Ah yes, good old 7,508,789: “the transmission of digital information through a broadcast channel and bi-directional channel.” Or something.

The complaint from California-based Online News Link specifically targets iTunes. The complaint, filed Oct. 8 in the Texas Eastern District Court, claims:

Defendant Apple infringes, either directly or indirectly, through its operation of iTunes and the email and Web-based products, systems, and services offered via iTunes.

Patent No. 7,508,789 describes a system that allows quick search and retrieval of broadcast information via the Internet. It was awarded to Online News Link as recently as March 24.

It’s sometimes hard to know for sure what these complaints are really about, particularly since the descriptions in patents can often be so cumbersome and, too often, frustratingly generic. Here’s an excerpt, courtesy of AppleInsider, of the patent description:

The amount of information delivered is preferably sufficient to satisfy the needs of a large number of subscribers so they do not have to obtain additional information using the bi-directional channel. The broadcast information is stored on fast storage media located at subscriber sites.

Well, to me, that sounds like every commercial online media service that’s ever existed since the late ’90s. But what do I know? Read More about Patent Dispute Goes After iTunes

ASA Agrees With Apple for Once


“There’s an app for just about anything…only on the iPhone.” Words we’re all accustomed to hearing at the end of Apple’s iPhone commercials. Here in the UK, those words got Apple (s aapl) into hot water (again) with the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), who have slapped Apple’s wrists twice before for ‘misleading’ commercials. (Watch the ad here.)

The problem this time was from fans of Google (s goog) Android who took offense to the claim that such app-tastic diversity and choice is available “only” on the iPhone. Because, obviously, Google’s version of the App Store, “Android Market” is just bursting with choice, right? Read More about ASA Agrees With Apple for Once