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."

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 2 Oct 2009 @ 7:15am

    Re: Incentives for not granting bad patents

    Every time a patent is invalidated the USPTO gets a budget cut and the inspector who approved the patent gets a pay cut? Possibly even a fine for the company or person (and layer?) who filed it? I'd say that would severely limit the patents put out.

    But, the opposite should be true as well. How can we reward for good patents? How would we even quantify a good patent? maybe a budget increase and a pay raise for a set amount of patents approved? That may push the system to go fast while still being accurate.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.