Another Acacia wannabe
A patent entitled
" Methods, systems, and processes for the design and
creation of rich-media applications via the internet "
was granted on Feb 14, 2006 (filed in Feb 2001).
From an Information
Week article covering this story:
on Valentine's Day--covers all rich-media technology implementations,
including Flash, Flex, Java, Ajax, and XAML, when the rich-media
application is accessed on any device over the Internet, including
desktops, mobile devices, set-top boxes, and video game consoles,
says inventor Neil Balthaser, CEO of Balthaser Online, which
he owns with his father Ken. "You can consider it a pioneering
or umbrella patent. The broader claim
is one that basically says that if you got a rich Internet
application, it is covered by this patent."
The Patent is #7,00,180
with the patent here.
a former VP of strategy for Macromedia, the developer of the
Flash rich-media development environment and player, now owned
by Adobe, says he will most likely sell the patent rather
than enforce it himself. He says he's discussing the sale
of the patent to "top-tier players. I don't want to name
them but they're fairly obvious, the guys who are investing
a lot of money in this rich Internet applications field. They
got a lot invested, or they're going to be investing a lot.
Anyone of those companies would definitely benefit by controlling
a patent like this, both defensively and potentially offensively,
and the ability to sublicense it, and make some return on
In reading the
actual patent, rather than the wide-eyed, hopeful interpretations
by the inventor and their patent attorney, my conclusions:
This patent is
for the creation of "rich media" application via
In my readings,
this patent will only affect those that have some kind of
web-based application that allows a person to assemble various
pieces (ie. music, video, text) etc to make an interactive
build their "rich media" stuff on their computer
and upload it to the server. the "novelty" of this
patent is that you can do it via the website.
be considered to be under this patent since they are homepage
tools to allow people to add elements to their myspace page.
If you were to
believe the quotes attributed to Mr. Balthaser, you
might think he invented "rich media" website. His
experience at Macromedia probably led him to the idea that
as he saw web designers create these "rich media"
websites on their desktop, that it might be novel and interesting
to have that abilty to be done via a website.
for prior art into areas like online e-greeting cards that
allowed for "rich media" creation of a card by adding
music, text, etc.. could be an area to explore.
While this patent
is broadly written, it's not as crazy as Acacia's belief that
Yurt and Brown invented the process of downloading audio/video
from a website.
I think Acacia
should acquire this patent and continue on with the delusions
of the inventor.
Most websites use
web designers who create the "rich media" websites
on their own computers, so this patent covers a small universe
of potential infringers, assuming that no prior out can be
If this were a
broad patent that covered all websites, alot of us amateur
prior art searchers would be digging for prior art, but as
I see it now.. *yawn*.
Markman Out! Defendants 2 - Acacia 0
7th, a day that will live in infamy.. for rememberance of
Perl Harbor, as well as for the Markman Order that was released
yesterday. You can view it here.
that want the condensed version and run through my patent-pending
ruled back in July 12, 2004 Markman, the term "sequence
encoder" that is used in Claims1 (the most important
#),7,17,18,32,33 of the '7-2 patent to be indefinite.. meaning
it can't be define and Acacia is making up what they want
it to mean.
in July 12, the term "identification encoder" in
claims 1,5,6,17,19,27,31 were also ruled indefinite.
recent testimony, Mr Weiss, expert witness for Acacia, had
his own testimony quoted in the Markman Order that was used
for your own amusement:
respect to whether the term "sequence encoder" had
an ordinary and customary meaning to one skilled in system
design in the television broadcasting industry, Mr Weiss testified:
In 1991, did the term "sequence encoder" have an
ordinary meaning to one of ordinary skill in the art?
In 1991, would the term "sequence encoder" have
been a term of art to one of ordinary skill in the art?
Are you aware of any dictionary in 1991 where it would have
defined the term "sequence encoder" ?
note, the (slam) comments were added in by me, and were not
part of the official transcript
conclusion, "The Court concludes that the claim term
"identification encoder" is indefinite and renders
independant claims 1,17 and 27 of the '702 patent invalid.
The Court also reserves for later proceedsing whether the
invalidty of the independent claims affect the validity of
claims which depend from them."
that what Acacia started out dreaming 3 years ago that this
was the "Perfect Patent" and unleashed their marketing
storm, is being whittled away.
spinners will say that you only need 1 claim for an infringement
case.. .that may be true from an academic sense, but I believe
in practice, it's buh-bye when you get your made-up believed
terms shot down by the court and by your own expert witness.
when Claim #1 is being ripped apart, which is the foundation
of all the other claims. And those other DMT related patents...
all based on the first patent, so I expect there to be a domino
is busier than ever with its new patents and going about the
marketing in the same way... companies are getting leary of
their efforts as they are seeing that this company is having
a bad track record of not understanding patents, or just looking
to use the presumption of validty to make a buck.
will hear more discussions on Feb 24, 2006.
16-May posting, I presented news of a challenge to the Acacia
#4,707,592 for the patent titled: Personal
universal identity card system for failsafe interactive financial
there was sufficient doubt raised that the USPTO granted the
companies that felt it was cheaper to license than to fight
it should be paying attention now. The attorney who filed
the patent re-exam is listed in the document.
APPROVED re-exam request doc here.
Another round of DMT marketing
Butts from Acacia has been sending out a new round of letters
inviting all the supposed infringers of their DMT patent to
pay the license fees, before they raise them again after Sept.
the first round of solicitations, their letters have beend filed
in the circular filing cabinet, but we were able to get a scan
of the pages before they ended up at the bottom of a bird cage.
defendants case has been combined with the cable company defendants,
and still feel very strongly that the prior art is there (and
it is as I and other searchers have found).
Does Bo know patents?
taking a flashback ride on Nike's commercials, about "Bo
Knows...", to build upon that commercial, the updated
version would be "Acacia knows...." and this time,
they think they know scheduling software patents.
is sending out their slick patent infringing marketing material
for patent #4,937,743 "Method and System for Scheduling,
Monitoring, and Dynamically Managing Resources".
acquired this patent, consistent with their business model
of IP licensing of patents that they interpret to mean more
than what the patent really says).
company that sent me the Patent
References, and the Patent
PDF, felt very strongly that prior art abounds.
(competitors) that are targetted by this patent can bond together
much like other defendants in Cable and Internet sectors against
the DMT patent to fight against Patent Abuse. Feel free to
contact me so that I may put companies in contact with each
other to share their prior art references.
patents are presumed to be valid, any patent infringement
claims from Acacia is presumed to be Bogus.
Ask and you shall receive
received a Patent Re-examination request against Acacia's
"Ware" Patent #4,707,592
cites 3 prior art patents that were not cited, thus challenging
the patent on 102 for anticipation and 103 for obviousness.
chatted with the attorney who filed the report, I asked if
the two open cases in GA and TX would cause the patent office
to hold off on the re-exam until after the court. His reply
was that the opposite may/should happen. That while the patent
office is slow on re-exams, that the courts may look to wait
for the USPTO decision on a re-exam.
and thoughts to come as the document is run through the non-patented
"FightThePatent Legalese Translator", satirized
for your sanity.
I am digesting the submission, read if for yourself by downloading
it from here.
Judgement filed by Circuit City against Acacia's patent infringement
claims in Eastern District of Virgina (case 05 CV 496). Read
A Call to Arms
following the Acacia Saga, Round One of their licensing schemes
with the V-CHIP patent was knocked down by Sony, though not
fast enough to have earned them over $26M in licensing from
companies who chose to settle.
Two is currently played out with internet and cable defendants
over the DMT patent, that has the ludicrious claims to owning
the downloading/streaming of audio/video from a (web) server.
Much like the truth, the prior art is out there.
Press Releases from Acacia has shown the acquisition of a
new portfolio of patents and their focus has been on these
new patents. What was once believed by Acacia to be their
big hit with the DMT patent, has quickly diminshed as efforts
to license their new patents are underway.
Press Releases, some large and notable companies have been
settling. Big corporations are looking at the costs of settling
rather than fighting, rather than the issue of validity.
Acacia may get lucky and find a patent that actually is a
solid patent, until then businesses and innovation are being
taxed by the latest fashion business model craze of IP licensing.
Acacia is certainly not the only company doing this, but their
questionable marketing tactics and aggressiveness in the space
has certainly gotten the attention of many people.
erupting with Acacia and their credit card transaction patent
(#4,707,592) has many large companies settling, given the
air of "validity" to the patent. But not all companies
are settling. Open cases in Georgia with Kroeger and Office
Depot and open cases in Texas with Linens & Things, Pier
1 Imports, and Costco are fighting.
restaurant chains are pooling themselves together to look
at this patent issue. They may choose to negotiate a deal
that is less expensive than fighting, or take the position
to not become a victim of patent abuse.
that has experience in the credit card processing space back
in 1987 that could share some insight into prior art of patent
#4,707,592 should feel free to contact me.
volunteer arm-chair prior art searchers like myself have contributed
solid prior art leads for defendants. The information is passed
on to defense attorneys AT NO COST.
without prior art, are ones that are consistent with the intent
of Patent Law. Patent Abuse is when the patent holder (more
popular now is to just acquire the patent from the inventor)
takes patents and tries their "shotgun" approach
to getting companies to license, without doing thorough research
into the actual validity of the patent claims to the claims
patents are being looked upon negatively by innovators, it
still has to be acknowedged that there are "valid"
patents out there with truly novel and new inventions, and
it is also the case where mightier corporations could attempt
to rollover the lesser equipt inventor. Patent Law has a place
to protect innovation, but the abuse of it greater tarnishes
and disprects the original intents.
out to innovators, entrepreneurs, business people, and concerned
individuals, to "Get Informed, Get Mad, Get Active"
and to participate where possible.
infringement may not have landed in your backyard, but its
effects can be felt by all.
Second Summary: Acacia
The outcome (court
doc) of the multi-district panel is that all the
cable lawsuits are rolled up under Judge Ware in Northern
Judge Ware is currently
handling the porn/internet defendants in Central District,
and it seems up to him about whether he will combine the cases
or not since there are many overlaping claims, and the fact
that prior art for the internet claims will apply to the cable
Next court date
is March 24th, where the judge will probably be exploring
the cable and internet cases and decide how to proceed from
Now that this stalling
action has been resolved, the defendants can push forward
and resume their filing for Motion for Summary Judgement.
For those that
read the Markman, Judge Ware said TWICE that the defendants
should file for Summary Judgement.
It turns out
that Homegrown Video / New Destiny, who is being sued by Acacia
for patent infringement, actually has a patent license (though
unbeknowngst to them until recently).
The company that
was managing their operations negotiated a license that included
It remains to be
seen why Acacia didn't drop HomeGrown from the lawsuit.
Besides not understanding
technology and making up interpretations of patent claims,
it appears that Acacia has sued a company that has a license.
Ranks right up
there with the RIAA suing a dead person.
Microsoft settles with Burst.com
In this Press
Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) will pay Burst.com Inc. (Nasdaq:BRST
- news), a developer of software for streaming audio and video
over the Internet, $60 million to settle a patent infringement
and antitrust lawsuit, the world's largest software maker
said on Friday.
Santa Rosa, California-based
Burst said in a 2002 lawsuit that Microsoft had infringed
on its patent for sending audio and video content over the
Hey there, Burst's
patent was for sending audio and video content over the web....
isn't that what the DMT patent is about?
Oh the paradox.
What is burst.com
doing that ACTG not doing?
Spending over $3M
in legal fees to deal with pornographers and here comes Burst.com
to swoop in and get a whopping settlement.
Maybe having Microsoft
settle, will mean Microsoft would be easy to rollover with
the DMT patent.
Waiting for MDP
entertainment defendants court session to present their Motion
for Summary Judgement (which the judge suggested they do TWICE
in the Markman
Order) had been put on hold due to waiting for
the outcome of a Multi district panel case.
now, the Multi District Panel should be giving a ruling as
whether or not the internet defendants should be rolled in
with the consolidation of the cable companies.
doesn't want the internet folks to be rolled up, knowing that
they are very close to knocking out the infringed claims.
were supposed to have filed for Motion for Summary Judgement
back dec 2-3, but has been stalled until the outcome of the
Multi Distict Panel.
art has been ready for over a year for its day in court. Acacia
claims to welcome their day in court... so stop the stalling
tactics and get what you ask for.
move to acquire the 27
new patents is an interesting one, because it helps
to focus attention on the new patents.. knowing full well
that DMT will suffer the same fate as V-CHIP.. and probably
banking on the day traders and larger block investors to not
have a memory of those events, and only look forward to the
new "pie in the sky" possosibilites for patent infringement..
they felt that EVERY website that has audio/video would have
to license for them, and that spurred all the early buying
of the stock.. if you can "own" the internet, why
bother with other patents... DMT could be the gravy train
that immortalizes Yurt and Browne as the fathers of downloading/streaming
audio/video from the web
investors are looking at DMT to see if they can win in.. confidence
in Acacia will surely be lowered once DMT fails to deliver
what management has claimed.. Some will find other IP licensing
firms who have better technology savvy and understanding to
invest in, others will gloss over VCHIP and DMT has a probability
gamble... where most companies will end up licensing than
fighting the patent claims (which most likely would be broad
and imagined as history as shown).
is the poster child for patent reform.
need to see is more focus on patent-only federal courts (with
more resources), which could be partially subsidized by the
"loser pays" idea that Europe has.
help to prevent "frivilous" patent infringement
lawsuits, where if a defendant prevails, they don't get their
money back for attorney expenses.
and civil abuse is what taxes innovation and businesses from
bogus patent claims where there is very little recourse or
retribution for the ordeal they go through to be proven right.
Markman Hearing went very badly for them, so their efforts
to follow in Acacia's footsteps with their "downloading
video faster than real time patent" will go the same
way as Acacia's DMT patent... into the circular filing cabinent.
The Acacia Energizer Bunny
guys keep going and going and going.
PR about their pending acquistion of a patent portfolio
is one of the acquisitions, Check out their portfolio
-data transmission on the Internet
-data transmission over satellite and cable broadcast channels
-information distribution and processing systems
-computer based distance learning
-noise reduction systems for video signals
-television de-scrambling smart card
-resolution enhancement for printers and other display devices
-MP3 CD players and their methods of operation
the year of wild-west patent infringement lawsuits!
More Acacia-like sh*t to come
of $15.5M for the bankrupt Commerce One patents has been won
by an enigma of a company.
broad patent claims and patent infringement cases for next
year. 2005 will be the year of patent infringements as a viable
business model (not for Acacia who still struggles to convince
people to part money from their wallets for their *cough*
bogus *cough* DMT patent claims and technology/patent ineptitude).
that are targeted by patents can take a stand by banding with
other companies. Take a "sweetheart deal" and mark
yourself to be a serial victim to be rolled over by the next
broadly interpreted patent.
details about the patent auction here.
Moveover Acacia, here comes USVO
lawsuit against MovieLink.com has picked up as they entered
the start of their Markman Hearing. This Dec
3 Hollywood Reporter article summarizes their dreams
patent claims the "pioneering" invention of Video
On Deman with their transmission of video "faster than
patent on my USVO
page. For those reading the patent and thinking
they invented faster bandwidth.. ayup.
to an earlier article I wrote, a satirical
piece about a fictious company's patent on VOD
(and video on the internet).
paradox revisited with SightSound, USVO, and Acacia all claiming
similar things in this Highladeresque title "There
can only be one" article.
Dec 2/3 postponed
Court has been postponed awaiting the outcome of the multi-district panel ruling about combining cable and adult online.
Acacia was trying to keep the two cases separate, but Judge Ware kept asking what's the difference in infrigements, if it's only the content being distributed
Patent Wars: Optima vs. Roxio
spin on patent abuse with a David and Goliath type story about
patents involving the invention of writing to a CD-R like
it was a hard drive. Article.
USVO entering into Markman Hearing
case against MovieLink.com beginning tomorrow. Docket-by-Docket
blows located on their website.
Round Three Scheme has begun
round of Acacia "marketing" for licensing of patents
has begun. So much to write about, that it became its own
targetted by Acacia for the HotSpot patent are welcomed to
share and learn information with what I am tracking on the
received is held confidential. Anonymous feedback can be sent
via the Contact
Netflix and Tivo
on the Yahoo Board wrote:
"is it possible that the nflx and tivo deal will now
infringe on acacias patents???"
It's possible if Acacia stuck to what the patent actualy said,
rather than what they were interpreting, that it could apply
and here's why:
patent, in my interpretation, was designed with the idea that
someone could be at work, and using a telephone, order a movie
that would be played at a "remote location", meaning
watching the movie at home.
would be delivered to the set-top back and the person could
enjoy the movie.
the aspect of ordering the video to the "remote location"
was what made the patent unique.
Markman Hearing and Order, Acacia argued that the term "remote
locations" means the server that you want the video from,
is in a "remote location" from the person making
sided with Acacia on its definition. Going off on a tangent
now... it was disappointing for the judge to agree to their
definition, because it went away from what the spirit of the
patent design, but then it opened up all the prior art where
a person at one location (ie. on a computer) to request and
download a video (ie. from a BBS) that was in a "remote
back to the Tivo/Netflix answer....
NetFlix, a person selects their video from their website,
and the video is transferred to the "remote location".
this is what Yurt and Browne had envisionsed, since video
on demand was around prior to their invention date, and videos
were being downloaded from BBS prior to the invention date.
the ironies here is that because Acacia has defined "remote
locations" differently than the patent, they can't just
go back and revert to the original definition (then again,
knowing how bogus of definitions they made up in Markman,
they could try).
video from the Netflix/Tivo service would not be like traditional
"video on demand", since there is not a direct connection
between the person ordering a video, and then the video playing..
there is a third party service that causes video to be directed
to the video subscriber.
the patent version of the invention, it would appear that
netflix/tivo could be infringing on that patent, but the internet
and cable world of "video on demand" services that
Acacia has broadly interpreted from the patent, would not.
A Federal Judge will make that determination.
ACTG vs. USVO Patent
patent filings, the abstracts now read:
system of distributing video and/or audio information employs
digital signal processing to achieve high rates of data compression.
The compressed and encoded audio and/or video information
is sent over standard telephone, cable or satellite broadcast
channels to a receiver specified by a subscriber of the service,
preferably in less than real time, for later playback and
optional recording on standard audio and/or video tape."
Video's (USVO ticker) July 14, 1992 patent, it's
system and method for transferring video programs from a first
location to a remote location provides for communication of
the programs over selected commercial telephone networks.
The program signals are digitized, compressed, and stored
at the first location, and transferred to the remote location
on request of a viewer. Due to the compression of the program,
the time required for electronically transferring the program
to the remote location is much less than the viewing time
for such program. The compressed program is reconstructed
at the remote location for viewing on available video display
their patent basically covers the transmission of video "faster
than real time"
I wrote about this issue many months ago, being the classic
Highlander event.. that these two patents will need to fight
two broad patents covering the same topics, will confuse licensees
and potential licensees of being a serial licensee.
like CinemaNow.com (which licensed from Acacia), is ripe for
licensing solicitations by USVO since USVO is currently suing
their competitor, MovieLink.com
imagine CinemaNow looking to Acacia to "protect its licensing
agreement and value" by beating down USVO's patent claims.
patent is prior art to each other, since they were approved
within a year of each other.
be interesting to see this story develop, in particular, to
a company that already licensed with Acacia to then be the
same target by USVO.
Summary of SJ next steps
court doc released on 31-Aug details the next court
schedule that I posted previously.
dates of December 2-3 will be for Summary Judgement for invalidity
of claims. The outcome of that court session should be the
ruling of invalidity of most of the claims. What will survive
are 6 claims of the patent (no idea of what those claims are).
step will be for the defendants to file for Summary Judgement
would be some limited discovery and then a ruling by end of
first quarter (speculation).
the judge ruled on many claims as being indefinite, it sets
up the end result of non-infringement by the defendants, and
basically a conclusion that the patents claims were bogus.
like Bloomberg, who probably paid next to nothing in a license
(maybe even just $1), will have to continue to pay the license
since a non-infringement verdict is not a invalidation of
the patent verdict, and the licensing agreement would still
price goes up a few days prior to a Press Release.
mean that inside information is known/leaked to traders who
are buying shares based on that info. Deals in progress are
surely shared with outsiders along with a time line to closing,
so plenty of time to buy shares.
ironic thing is that when a PR comes out, it's not super exciting
news, and the stock actually goes down.
PR is a great example... share price was up a few days prior
with no news, then PR hits, stock goes down. Stock closed
that maybe these traders who are getting some advanced word
could be making more money by shorting the stock on word of
an upcoming Press Release.
has happened quite a few times. Early on, when things were
much more speculative and pie-in-the-sky, the share price
would actually go up on the news of signing... but i think
savvy investors are seeing that all these sweetheart deals
are not amounting to much.
price the licensing fee at a level low enough to be more of
a nuisance fee, companies will just settle, paying a lower
cost than engaging in more attorney time.
could work well if thousands and thousands of companies paid
the "nuisance fee", but the problem with that strategy
is the fact that their are defendants in litigation who are
challenging the validity of the patent. The other problem,
is there is only 175 licensees after almost 2 years of "soliciting"
instead of thousands.
the very positive outcome of the Markman Order, in favor of
the defendants, the days of companies making a "business
decision" to take out a license is numbered.
Blooming Business Decisions
Acacia PR , Bloomberg News has signed a license.
would have to pay atleast $10K to a patent law firm to get
an opinion paper as to whether they are infringing on a patent
or not. The way the licensing is going, paying less than $10K
is cheap in the form of paying a license (ie. nuisance fee)
and making Acacia go away.
Berman, executive vice president and legal counsel for Acacia,
said in an Xbiz
""If the adult entertainment litigation is so close
to being over, as some would like to believe, then one has
to ask why so many Internet companies continue to sign DMT
licenses?" said Robert Berman, executive vice president
and legal counsel for Acacia. "The
fact is, those companies outside of the adult industry that
are represented by counsel and that are monitoring the litigation
know the facts. "
and that's why only 175 have signed.
thousands of companies that they contacted knew the same "facts",
then more would be signing. I get many anonymous feedback
from my website from attorneys who have been hired by their
clients in response to recent acacia solicitations, and they
are seeing no need to take a license since Acacia hasn't sued
anyone recently and that the Markman Order went very bad for
them. The companies that are signing, like Bloomberg, are
doing so because it's cheaper for them to have their name
tossed out in PR than to pay for lawyers on fear of being
to paying a cheap license fee is that the company name gets
to be dragged out in PR. Imagine the situation come next Q1
or so, that the current defendants in litigation against Acacia
are found to be not-infringing.
that signed that were projected as being companies with big
time lawyers end up looking not too smart.
the economics of settling for a bogus patent, but will these
companies understand the economics of the negative badwill
and setting themselves up to be serial patent licensees for
anyone else who has a patent (ie. USA
Video) and looking for easy prey.
ACTG Court Schedule
will be to hear Acaca's class action proposal against all
adult entertainment websites using 2257 requirements as the
this will get denied by the judge due to the logistical problem
of being able to notify every company in the class, so they
can decide to opt-out, etc.
possibility for denial is there is already a pending case
with a negative Markman Order against Acacia.
Dec 2 - Motion for Summary Judgement by the defendants will
it will be granted by Judge Ware, given the fact that he said
on TWO accounts in the Markman Order that the defendants should
file for Summary Judgement.
Another "business decision" made
Acacia PR release, iFilm has signed up for the
DMT patent license.
From the PR:
Paul Ryan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented,
"Each month, iFilm is recognized as one of the top streaming
companies on the Internet. We are pleased to have iFilm as
a licensee because it further demonstrates the execution of
our strategy to sign license agreements with all of the leading
Having iFilm sign
up demonstrates Acacia's execution strategy that it's cheaper
for a company to license than it is to fight. A very understandable
business decision made by iFilm, but also very disappointing
given the Markman Order setback to Acacia as well as the ability
to have banded with other companies to fight.
Acacia listed iFilm's
investors ( Axiom Ventures, Inc., Eastman Kodak Company, Liberty
Digital, Rainbow Media, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Vulcan
Ventures, Inc. ) as if to show that their patent must hold
some validity if these top-notched VC firms are involved.
VC's have their
liabilities capped by their investments, so iFilm could have
faught. One possible reason for their taking a license is
that they don't generate enough revenue to even worry about
the cost of the license (ie. another license paid in peanuts).
iFilm shows previews
of videos and movies and looks to have an advertisement-based
model. If their licensing structure is simiar to e-learning
and corporate websites, expect very little financial contributions
to Acacia's warchest and bottom line.
One last reminder,
the current defendants against Acacia will be going to Summary
Judgement with expectations of a non-infringement verdict
in Q1 '05.
license the DMT patent will have to continue to pay licensing
WHEN the defendants are found to be not-infringing.
Things that make you go hmmm
recent NY Times article:
he said [Berman], anyone viewing stored streaming video or
stored streaming audio on the Internet using the most common
media players - those
produced by Apple Computer and RealNetworks, for example -
violating his company's patents. "
that Berman did not mention Microsoft's Windows Media Player.
what Acacia is claiming is using timecodes that match up the
audio to video due to different compression methods use.
not use timecodes, and being a digital format, should not
be covered. If Virgin Radio uses shoutcast or other mp3 delivery
systems (and most do), then they may not be infringing, but
since they signed a license it doesn't matter anyways.
(and Mpeg) uses timecodes, and my guess is that Real must
do the same.
it be that Windows Media Player does things differently, such
that use of Windows Media encoded files (ie. WMV) are not
infringing the patent??
Berman be specific enough to list Apple and Real, and leave
the current defendants use Microsoft Windows Media....so some
investigation is definitely needed to understand why Microsoft
was left out.
be rather ridiculous if Acacia realized now that they sued
the wrong people.
Vile and Denial
PR spin on trying to recover from the loss of appeal on v-chip:
ruling has no impact on the revenues that Acacia has previously
recognized from licensees of the V-chip patent. "
that was collected by Acacia from TV manufacturers that settled
instead of fighting is something that those manufacturers
can't get back. Companies like Sony who prevailed, could get
their legal expenses back if they decide to file countersuits..much
like the current defendants against acacia with DMT.
judgement goes their way, and getting the non-infringement
ruling like with v-chip, expect to see ACTG management to
be held accountable for their very questionable marketing
and licensing tactics.
verdict on v-chip signifies two things:
management does not understand their own patents and are interpretting
the patents to mean more than what it says (interpreting the
patent through legal wishful thinking, rather than technical
companies (especially public ones) are easy targets to rollover
and pay licensing.
time an IP licensing company uses the pitch that it would
be cheaper to license then fight in court, it should alert
you that they are pitching you a bogus patent.
pitch above was used by acacia on DMT, and most likely learned
from v-chip marketing campaign.
A Preview of things to come
States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed
the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut ruling
in September of 2002 that television manufacturers named in
the Connecticut lawsuit do not infringe the Acacia Technologies
group's V-chip patent. "
17th is the next court action with a telphone conference of
will submit their class action proposal, which most likely
will be denied. The judge will probably find the logistics
of running the class action (notifying all effected parties,
logistics, coordination, schedule,etc) to be too burdensome,
given the fact that the Markman Hearing went badly for Acacia.
will submit a Summary Judgement motion, which most likely
the judge will grant, given that he suggested TWICE in the
Markman Order for the defendants to file it.
The countdown to non-infringement will soon start after the
grant of summary judgement.
defendants are found to be not infringing, they may turn around
and file some lawsuits against acacia for its inequitable
conduct, bad business practices, and various other claims
in order to recoup their money in the frivilous lawsuit.
Expect legal fees by Acacia to continue to increase to support
the current dual legal front (porn and cable).
You win some, you lose some
was granted a court
order yesterday against Defendant company
Carpe Diem to "refrain from directly or indirectly suing
or causing to be used any system or method emboyding any of
the claims of US Patent 5,132,992....."
is against Carpe Diem (there is also another one coming),
who did not defend themselves in court, and research shows
that the company doesn't exist anymore.
recall, Acacia received default
judgement against some web companies a year ago
for their failure to not show up in court, and released a
big PR bragging about it.
similar spin. While true that Carpe Diem was sued, they were
never part of the Defense Group and the company doesn't exist
anymore. It's almost like winning a political race against
a dead guy.
ACTG Q2 Call
Research Corporation Earnings Conference Call (Q2 2004) Scheduled
to start Thu, Jul 22, 2004, 4:30 pm Eastern
to listen to the spin. Expect more focus on Combimatrix
and the newly acquired patent. Supposedly, five new licensees
of the patent post-Markman.
What a tangled web
announced today in a Press
Release, the acquisition of a patent from Lodgenet.
For those that recall this name, Lodgenet was one of the early
licensees of the DMT patent.
"Acacia Research Corporation (Nasdaq:ACTG - News;
Nasdaq:CBMX - News) announced today that its Acacia Technologies
Group has acquired U.S. Patent No. 6,226,677 from LodgeNet
Entertainment Corporation (Nasdaq:LNET - News).
The newly acquired patent has several potential licensing
opportunities, including DSL registrations, wireless "hotspots",
and hotel high-speed Internet access (HSIA). The patent covers
technology and methods for redirecting users to a login page
when accessing the Internet.
Acacia expects to launch a licensing and enforcement program
for the redirection patent in the third quarter, and will
continue to separately license its Digital Media Transmission
(DMT®) patent portfolio."
Lodgenet didn't get a sweetheart deal???
like it has been revealed what Round 3 for Acacia will be.
a quick read at the patent (6,226,677), looks to be
a very broad process based on TCP/IP routing that tons of
prior art can be found.
providers, Cable, etc should be paying attention to this.
Starbucks should probably also worry about being a "contributory
infringer" with WiF hot-spots. Given Acacia's "marketing"
tactics, they may go after folks like Starbucks, Borders,
etc rather than take on the big boys.
it here first.
15 more minutes of fame
taking a pot shot at my efforts in this Forbes.com
article. Here is an excerpt:
Acacia's Berman dismisses such criticisms as a "byproduct"
of the fact that it first targeted porn peddlers, a noisy
industry that predictably draws "eyeballs" to its
cause in more ways than one. He also suggests some gadflies
have attempted to profit from the fight. Berman singles out
the individual behind Fightthepatent.com, for instance, for
having tried to raise $250,000 from porn companies so he could
agitate about Acacia full time.
"Cottage industries have formed," Berman marvels.
"Completely ridiculous," huffs Brandon Shalton,
a fledgling Internet entrepreneur who started Fightthepatent
last August out of his home near Austin, Tex., to publicize
the Acacia battle. While acknowledging that he did try to
raise $250,000, he says it was for the purpose of starting
a foundation, not for his personal benefit. Whatever the case,
he dropped the idea after finding lukewarm support.
"I didn't take a dime from anyone for this,"
Shalton says. In the meantime, he continues to run the Web
site while skewering Acacia on the company's Yahoo! (nasdaq:
YHOO - news - people ) stock message board.
has ignorantly failed to interpret properly (consistent with
their DMT claims) is an understanding of what I was proposing.
The Patent Foundation was proposed to be a non-profit organization
to focus specifically on patent abuse, modeled after the ACLU
and EFF at a time when no one was focusing on this issue.
More info can be found here.
many large internet companies, and the support for the idea
are many more Acacia-like companies coming forward (joining
the many that already exist). Patent abuse will become more
rampant and businesses will be faced with even more litigation
and extortion like tactics to tax innovation and businesses
with broad and bogus patents.
got my hands on a copy of the Sarnoff Report.
few sentences from the document summarize it all up:
on our review of published materials on this topic [see reference
list & attached papers], we do not consider the overall
system architecture to be novel in a scientific/technological
use. Similar concepts for storing, accessing, transmitting
and displaying compressed video and audio information are
widely understood by researchers in the telecommunications
and multimedia fields".
the story behind this report is that it was not a published
paper, therefore the inventors did not present this to the
patent examiner on the first patent.
on, the document was submitted into later patents but the
way it was done was an attempt to "hide it" as one
observer remarked while reviewing the patent wrapper (the
notes by the examiner during the patent application process
- which i also have).
down to this entry:
Acacia does the Kerry Flip-Flop
the court docs filed by Acacia to not have the Sarnoff Report
submitted for review by the judge.
Mark my words
Order, while a signficant blow to Acaca's claims, is not the
end of the road.
judge stated twice, for the defendants to file for summary
judgement.. which they will.
will come down to a court case where the prior art and expert
testimony can be presented for the judge to make his final
ruling on the case.
a non-infringement verdict, I am sure Acacia will file an
appeal (no different than the history of v-chip) and would
continue to feel they have a solid patent.
and logistical effect of the Markman Order is that companies
being solicited to license the patent will either blow off
Acacia or be able to negotiate a "nuisance license"
that is low enough to make Acacia go away and not tie up corporate
resources with legal fees.
stream of patent licensing at pittance levels will surely
not fuel investor confidence in the patent until a lawsuit
has been won by Acacia.
prior art and narrowing of the definitions due to Markman
Order, the chances of an Acacia win is a pipe dream.
is of greater concern are new companies being formed that
have IP licensing as its product and business model.
of former Intel execs have gotten together with hundreds of
millions of dollars backing them and they are gobbling up
group in particular is tech savvy (unlike Acacia) and has
alot of money in the bank.
them to come out swinging with an array of broad (ie. claimed
Say my name
almost 1 year of being publically critical and observational
about Acacia's methods and tactics, it's funny for Berman
to be taking the time now to take a potshot against me. This
only ligitimizes my efforts, and gives me a forum to respond.
your stock cheerleaders do a good enough job with their name
calling and efforts to discredit me?
they have failed that the General Counsel now feels he must
come to bat.
satire, observations, and facts for the black and white letters
that they are, just like you expect others to do the same
with your Press Releases.
into personal attacks creates the david and goliath situation
that can only shed darker light upon the company.
up a link to the article for all to read should the writer
include your comment and my response.
We told you so
Order is out! Click
here to read.
on it will come later, just wanted to let everyone read it
for themselves first.
news for Acacia's DMT patent.
Order Summary, click
Ware has postponed the class action hearing scheduled for
July 7th. It appears that he has some issues to consider in
making his Markman Hearing ruling, due anytime now and July
the judge makes a ruling that knocks out some of the claims,
then that would obviously have an impact on his decision about
the proposed class action lawsuit by Acacia against adult
judge may require an additional hearing to help clarify some
points as he weighs in the facts from both sides to make his
Fruit picking in the Cable Orchid
announces that Central Valley Cable TV has licensed the DMT
Central Valley Cable in one of their FCC
filings, it shows they have a subscriber base of
less than 5,000.
Valley Cable was listed in the lawsuit filed in Northern CA
District, but Acacia had not served papers due to waiting
to see what reaction it would get from companies.
like they picked off the smallest of the cable providers listed.
'low hanging fruit'.
how the stock price surged up a few days prior to today's
PR with no other news previously.
of Fight The Patent is to bring awareness and activism to
Internet-related patents that affect all websites. In addition,
this website presents searches for Patent Prior Art.
So many patents
that have been approved by the US Patent Office are broad claims
that defy understanding how the Patent Office could have approved
are enforcing their government approved monopoly on their patents
by requiring companies to pay licensing fees for their patents or
to end the use of their patents through litigation. Patents
are designed to protect invention and innovation, not to support
broad claims where the idea was already in use prior to the patent
A patent can
be invalidated by proving that the idea existed before the patent,
this is called Prior Art.
website defines Patent Abuse as when a patent holder uses
Patent and Civil Law to sue companies to license their interpretation
of what they want their patent to mean that is broader than what
the USPTO thought at the time, and that potential prior art is available
to invalidate the claims. Many times, these companies do not have
any technology themselves, and are merely licensing the patent.
aims to present the issues involving patents that affects all websites
and more importantly, focus on what we as non-patent-lawyers can
do to find Prior Art. Patents claims can be refuted by presenting evidence of existance of the patented idea at least one year prior to the filing. Fight The Patent provides patent prior art information to defendants of litigation at no charge. The effort provided helps companies to Fight
Wars: Optima Technology vs. Roxio (read)
9:26am Tracking Acacia's latest licensing scheme
of the HotSpot patent for WiFi and Wireless carriers.
Order Summary (read)
to lump all adult industry into Class Action Lawsuit
based on 2257 (read)
This! A patent paradox that makes you go hmmmm. (read)
Dos Towers: ACTG Q1 Conference Call - satirized for
your sanity (read)
info about FightThePatent.com (read)
licenses with Acacia (read)
licenses Acacia DMT patent (read)
Settles with SightSound! (read)
news updates made to the article continually
up of Acacia 4Q Earnings Call (read)
is the start of the Markman Hearing. All news items
will be tracked on the article titled: Acacia Showdown
at the Patent Corral (read)
up and smell the patent, a call to arms for companies
directly and indirectly watching the Acacia Saga (read)
a different patent dispute, Rockwell Automation stepping
in to help companies that use it's products against
patent infringement claims (read)
court docs filed in response to previous pre-Markman
Hearing docs. (read)
is getting involved with the Acacia patent Saga. FTP
mention on page2 (read)
Hearing court docs released plus a primer for the
Feb 6th first day of the Markman Hearing (read)
releases a list of Porn companies that have licensed
it's patent, covered in an article titled 'Acacia's
Partners in Porn'
article, Mainstream's Dirty Little Secret on how companies
like Real Networks is courting adult companies while
not supporting defendants against Acacia. (read)
another page to talk about the proposed Fight The
Patent Foundation idea. (read)