Over the Summer, shortly after launch, a Spotify lawsuit for patent infringement was filed by a company named PacketVideo, who claimed to have rights to a patent used in Spotify's streaming music to a mobile device. The Spotify lawsuit was for patent number 5,636,276: "Device for the distribution of music information in digital form." PacketVideo claimed Spotify was guilty of patent infringement for streaming music to a mobile device like an Android mobile phone, iPhone or iPad because it owns the patent on streaming audio to a mobile device. Think of all of the Spotify Android app and Spotify iPad app users ... Think of all of the Spotify playlists ... the usage of Spotify by people in the U.S. is somewhere around a million paying users, plus all the free Spotify users, so I'm sure PacketVideo had dollar signs in their eyes when thinking about what they could get in a lawsuit.
As turns out, PacketVideo has settled its lawsuit against Spotify, according to Law360, who said "A California federal judge dismissed the case after PacketVideo and Spotify notified the court that the two sides had agreed to resolve their dispute over a patent owned by PacketVideo relating to digital music distribution."
It's easy to imagine all of the bad PR that could have resulted from an ongoing legal battle, not to mention legal costs that can drive companies into the ground in terms of money and morale. So your Spotify playlists and Spotify apps are OK ... for now.
Check out more about steaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide.