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Intertainer Sues Apple, Google, Napster

Defunct movie-download service Intertainer filed a patent-infringement lawsuit last week against Apple Computer, Google and Napster, AP reported.

The suit involves patents Intertainer claims it owns governing Internet distribution of video content, according to AP.

The company claimed in the suit that it filed a patent in 2001 outlining the business model for offering video content from various providers to consumers over TV and the Internet, and the patent was granted in 2005, AP reported.

The lawsuit -- filed in U.S. District Court in Marshall, Texas -- claimed that Apple, Google and Napster are using the patent without permission and asked for damages and a permanent injunction, according to AP.

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling told AP the company does not comment on pending litigation; Napster spokeswoman Dana Harris said the company was looking into the matter; and a call to Google for comment was not immediately returned, according to AP.

Intertainer launched in 1998 with investments from Comcast, Intel, Microsoft, Sony and NBC, streaming movies over the Internet and providing movies on-demand for cable services, but the company shut down its service in 2002 after filing a federal lawsuit alleging that the major movie studios were conspiring to force it out of business by refusing to license films for the service or charging higher fees to benefit competing service Movielink, which is jointly owned by five of the major studios, according to AP. That suit was settled out of court last March.