Apple's new patent adds to the speculation surrounding a revamped, broadcast-integrated Apple TV
Another front has opened in the attack on commercials.
Apple received a patent Tuesday for technology that would allow users to switch seamlessly to their own audio or video files once ads started playing on their TV or radio.
Unlike Dish Network's Auto Hop feature that allows users to bypass ads, with the Apple device, a users iTunes library would kick in and play music, video or a podcast.
As for Apple's plan, according to the patent approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: "When an electronic device determines that an upcoming media item in a media broadcast is not of interest to a user, the electronic device can switch playback from the media stream to a media item from the electronic device local library," the patent said.
The networks are not likely to be happy. CBS, Fox and NBC already have filed lawsuits against Dish, saying Auto Hop is illegal and reduces the advertising revenue the networks depend on to purchase programming.
The feds granted the tech titan the new patent just a week after clearing the way for Apple to create a TiVo-like box that would allow the recording or pausing of live television.
The new patent seems to increase the speculation surrounding a revamped, broadcast-integrated Apple TV.
It also could impair talks Apple is currently having with top network executives to negotiate a deal that could bring live television to Apple TV, limited at first to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu or iTunes rentals.
AppleInsider was the first to report on the patent.