Just about everyone seems to want to sue the giants for patent infringement; problem is that they often have a case. Contois Music & Technology, a Vermont company, is suing Apple Computer, claiming that Contois owner David Contois showed off his idea for a computer interface for music-playing software at the November 1995 Comdex event and at a music trade show in 1996, and that this was used as a basis for the interface for iTunes. Now Contois wants compensation.

Contois Music & Technology filed suit last week in U.S. District Court in Vermont, alleging that Apple's actions are "irreparably" damaging Contois. The company seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction, as well as unspecified damages, according to the lawsuit. Contois is also charging that Apple's patent infringement is willful, and is asking the court to take this into account in calculating damages by tripling the amount it would otherwise award.

An Apple representative declined to comment. A lawyer for Contois did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.