Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
invalid, patents, streaming media


Court Invalidates Key Patent Claims In Acacia's Streaming Media Patent

from the down-goes-another-one dept

The EFF's painfully slow patent busting project keeps on seeing success -- even if it's taking forever. The number one patent on the list was Acacia's streaming media patent, that was brought to court more than six years ago, basically going after anyone who did online streaming media. Acacia, of course, is one of the biggest and most well known of the patent hoarding firms that started getting lots of attention earlier this decade (the company now often tries to hide patents in shell companies, since the Acacia name is now so closely associated with "patent troll"). With this patent, Acacia was especially sneaky, in that it started by going after porn sites, figuring they wouldn't want to fight back.

Either way, a district court has just tossed out the 10 claims that it was asserting in its lawsuit against cable and satellite TV providers, claiming that they're all invalid. The EFF doesn't get credit for this one, since it wasn't through a USPTO patent review process, the overall impact is the same. For all intents and purposes, the parts of this patent that were being asserted against so many companies have been declared invalid. It doesn't change the fact that tons of companies have spent years and years fighting it and paying legal fees, but that's our patent system for you. Encouraging "innovation" the same way the mob encourages "safe neighborhoods."

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  1. identicon
    hans, 30 Jan 2010 @ 12:45am

    My response

    I used to have a number of adult sites with video. When Acacia contacted me I felt threatened. I was a small, financially insecure operation. Hustler had just caved in and paid them. Others were doing the same. I wrote them back in French, saying that since I lived in Quebec and my business was based in Quebec I was unable to respond to them until they re-submitted their request in French. Ha! I never heard back.

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