Apple bitten by various lawsuits

Although Apple has enjoyed great success of late, 2006 hasn't been all kind to the Cupertino, Calf.-based company. Beyond facing federal probes for alleged stock-option manipulations, the company has disclosed in a recent SEC filing that it's facing a number of lawsuits, according to reports, including one accusing the company of creating a monopoly by linking its iTunes store to the iPod.

"The case, filed July 21, is over Apple's use of a copy-protection system that generally prevents iTunes music and video from playing on rival players. Likewise, songs purchased elsewhere aren't easily playable on iPods," AP reports.

A judge denied Apple's request to dismiss the case on Dec. 20.

A second lawsuit, filed in November, alleges that the logic board of Apple's iBook G4s are prone to failure at an unusually high rate, AP reports. Apple has yet to file a response.

Finally, a company called PhatRat filed a patent-infringement against Apple in October in response to an iPod developed jointly by Apple and Nike that allows runners to measure the time and distance they've run. Apple has yet to file a response to that lawsuit, either, according to AP.

This isn't the first patent-infringement case Apple has faced. Earlier this year, the company settled with Creative for $100 million after Creative had sued the company for infringing on its patented interface and file organization technology for MP3 players.