Spotify has been accused of infringing patents in the US and Europe that relates to how its streams music over the web.

The Swedish music streaming service has been available in the UK since 2008 and was recently made available in the US. However, PacketVideo, a firm that develops software for multimedia services including video streaming, claims that by streaming music over the web, Spotify is infringing a patent it owns that covers a "device for the distribution of music information in digital form".

The related patents were filed in 1995 and came into PacketVideo's hands after the firms purchased SDC AG in 2007. The firm has now launched legal action in San Diego and the Netherlands against the music streaming service after it claimed "attempts to amicably resolve its concerns with Spotify's patent infringement outside of court" failed. PacketVideo is seeking to stop Spotify from further infringing its patents and as well as damages.

"PacketVideo has a long history of software innovation, and is committed to creating inventive solutions that power unparalleled multimedia experiences on home and mobile devices worldwide," said Joel Espelien, General Counsel, PacketVideo

"PacketVideo has a strong intellectual property portfolio, and will take any necessary action needed to protect its intellectual property and prevent the misuse of its patents."

However, Spotify hit back that it "is strongly contesting PacketVideo's claim".

"In just under three years, Spotify has become more popular than any other music service of its kind. This success is, in large part, due to our own highly innovative, proprietary hybrid technology that incorporates peer-to-peer technology," the music streaming service said.

"PacketVideo is claiming that by distributing music over the internet, Spotify (and by inference any other similar digital music service) has infringed one of the patents that has previously been acquired by PacketVideo."