Wireless Speaker Patent Holder Sues Slingbox Over Place Shifting

from the not-quite-what-the-patent-system-intended dept

One of the problems with the big patent awards that have been given out lately is that patent holders will look for just about anything that might possibly maybe-if-you-squinted be considered to infringe on a patent they hold. Witness the latest case (of course, filed in the Easter Texas court that patent holders flock to), where the guy who holds a patent on wireless speakers is suing place shifting device maker, Sling Media. Sling Media’s Slingbox is a very useful little device that hooks up to your TV and lets you access the content on your TV (or DVR) via any internet connection. If that seems a lot more advanced than wireless speakers, you’d be correct. It certainly sounds like the guy is claiming that his patent on wireless speakers basically applies to place shifting any content — which is a huge stretch. Of course, with the way some courts have been handing out huge prizes to patent holders, no wonder he thinks it’s worth a shot.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Wireless Speaker Patent Holder Sues Slingbox Over Place Shifting”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Sanguine Dream says:

Good point Joe

There are way too many bottomfeeders to try to take them all out. On the other hand there aren’t as many people that make it “worth a shot”, which is why patent holders flock to certain friendly courts.

So if I understand this right place shifting is simply moving content from one device to another? If so then internet itself is violating this guy’s patent.

Anonymous of Course says:

I wouldn't call it innovative

The patent is 6,212,282 and it begins with the
premise that wireless speakers/hadphones are
of limited range at 900Mhz and cites some prior

So he does the A/D and D/A thing and also uses
the link for control of the source device.

It’s pretty obvious to anyone familiar with FCC
part 15 that for increased range you have to
move to spread spectrum and run more power,
like cordless telephones have already done /and
some other audio devices as well./

Slingbox is not a speaker, this guy is grasping at straws.
His patent is pretty shakey as well if prior art matters
a jot.

Gregory (user link) says:

Wow i wonder how that court case went with this case. You know, some people think they are entitled to some things. The wireless speaker system is an ingenious idea and I do think other companies should be entitled to have the choice to develop products like these, that is if he wanted to close that option? Wireless speakers today have improved alot, with some you would’nt even know they are wireless because of the quality of sound they produce today. Thanks for informing us.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...