Acacia Gets Cocky – Sues Satellite And Cable Companies

from the good-luck-with-that-plan dept

It looks like patent hoarding company Acacia is getting a bit cocky these days. Last year, the company made a lot of news for getting a questionable patent on “streaming media” and then suing porn sites, since they knew people wouldn’t pay as much attention to them. Many sites felt the need to pay up, and Acacia used that war chest to go after bigger companies like Disney. Along the way, they got all excited because a judge upheld their patent rights – but only because no one showed up to contest them. These wins seem to have made Acacia cocky, and they’ve now decided that any company offering video on demand over cable or satellite services are also violating their patents. Thus, they’ve sued Comcast, Cox, Charter, DirecTV and EchoStar for violating the patents. These are companies that have a lot of money, and hopefully at least a few of them will stand up to this blatant patent extortion. People have been talking about video-on-demand service for ages. It’s not a new concept, and it’s unclear (again) how this helps innovation in anyway. Right now, it only looks like it’s going to make video-on-demand services more expensive. In fact, Acacia will even tell you how much more expensive: they want $1.25 for every digital cable subscriber with video-on-demand, $1 for every digital cable TV subscriber and $0.50 for every analog cable TV subscriber. If they win, expect to see these charges added to your next bill. Apparently, higher bills count as innovation these days.

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