can be only one.
For those who
have been following along with this website, you'll know that there
are 3 companies in the same space of making claims against digital
claims the patent to downloading audio/video.
Video claims the patent to downloading video faster than real time.
claims the patent for the paid downloading of audio/video.
As you can tell,
there is some overlap here, especially if you are a website that
sells streaming videos (ie. video on demand, membership site with
videos, etc) where you are technically violating all three patents.
It does seem
to be quite a paradox to have more than 1 patent covering the same
idea, but in talking to some patent attorneys, it's not uncommon.
This just in:
Technologies Successfully Settles Patent Case Against CDnow and
From the PR:
Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- SightSound Technologies Inc. announced today
that it has reached a final settlement in its patent infringement
litigation against CDnow and N2K.
In the settlement, CDnow and N2K acknowledged that the United States
Patents 5,191,573; 5,675,734; and 5,966,440 are valid and enforceable,
and paid SightSound Technologies US $3,300,000, without conceding
infringement or other liability resulting from their prior activities
in the music download business. A Final Order and Judgment on Consent
in accordance with the settlement was entered by Chief Judge Donetta
W. Ambrose of the United States District Court for the Western District
of Pennsylvania on February 20, 2004."
It will be interesting
to see what SightSound will do with its patent and this settlement.
Porn websites that are member based (ie. monthly membership fee)
could technically fall within this patent. Video-on-Demand sites
that offer pay-per-minute or video downloads (ie. CinemaNow.com,
MovieLink.com, etc) could find themselves faced with paying licenses
to two or more patent holders.
signed a license with Acacia and MovieLink.com is currently being
sued by USA Video.
How will these
and other businesses react to having to pay ANOTHER licensing agreement
for the same thing?
Is this a patent
paradox or just patently absurd?
From a Hoovers
SightSound prexy and
co-founder Scott Sander said Monday that the company has already
been approached by several parties interested in acquiring the patent
"We realize that
someone bigger than us might have to have these patents for the
industry to really move ahead," Sander said. "We hope
that with our success today the industry has entered a new era of
respect for intellectual property, both copyrights and patent rights."
"marketing" of their DMT patent and the recent (disturbing)
news of BMG settling, it truly is a "new era" where business
models will revolve around licensing and litigation as observed
in my Sept 2, 2003 article titled 'Mo
Patents, Mo Money: Making money by licensing patents'
from an Mlive.com
"We changed the way consumers access entertainment, and our
patents gave us the power to change the business practices of an
entire industry," said Scott Sander, president of SightSound.