Business news

Lawyers challenge LegalZoom services


KANSAS CITY, MO. --- Lawyers in a federal class-action suit against online legal document provider LegalZoom say legal services in Missouri should be performed by lawyers, not an Internet Web site.

LegalZoom offers legal documents such as wills, trademarks and incorporation paperwork. The Los Angeles-based firm was co-founded in 2001 by celebrity attorney Robert Shapiro.

A Missouri man who used LegalZoom to prepare a last will and testament filed the suit in Jefferson City, and he was joined by two men who used the service to organize a remodeling business. The case has since gained class-action status.

Their attorneys are seeking damages for the plaintiffs and others who used the service, though nobody is claiming the documents were invalid or ineffective. The case goes to trial Aug. 22.

An attorney for LegalZoom compares the company's services to that of online tax preparation companies such as TurboTax, which provide proper forms for customers to fill out themselves.

Suit claims Spotify infringed on patent

SAN FRANCISCO --- Digital music service Spotify, which recently arrived in the U.S., has been sued by music and video streaming software maker PacketVideo for allegedly violating a patent it holds for digital music distribution.

In court documents filed last week in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California, PacketVideo said it believes Spotify's streaming service violates its patent for a "device for the distribution of music in digital form." The patent covers methods for streaming copyright-protected music from a central device.

In a statement, a Spotify spokeswoman referred to the company's "own highly innovative, proprietary hybrid technology that incorporates peer-to-peer technology."