For those following
the Acacia Saga, it does become overwhelmingly confusing on how
can a group of lawyers take a patent and broadly interpret it to
mean something so ubiquitous as owning all downloading and streaming
of audio/video files from a web server.
As soon as you
saw "group of lawyers", you should have been tipped off
that this is where the problem starts.
doesn't start with the patent office granting the patent (though
that is one good place to start), it starts when the Yurt Patent
was acquired by the IP licensing business model company, Acacia
Executive Vice President Business Development and General Counsel,
has been quoted in various articles about bragging that over 160
other patents have referenced the Yurt patent. This citation is
an attempt to prove some validity to the patent, but in this referencing
comment, lies one of the paradoxes and absurdities of the patent
is quite simple:
How can Acacia
claim the DMT patent to be so broad in scope when 160 subsequent
patents limited the scope, but are still subject to their patent
An example might
be a business that has purchased the InterVu (acquired by Akamai
in 2000) video streaming system to deliver video content over the
for their video system that also references the Yurt patent in its
filing. This business could then be "marketed" by Acacia
that they are infringing upon the DMT patent. From Acacia's perspective,
the use of video matches the DMT patent.
in this hypothetical situation, is confused on how can a later patent
that was cited by InterVu, end up being able to charge the business
with patent infringement.
In doing a patent
search for patents that reference the Yurt patent, you find
over 160 patent references. If you click on the link you will see
many patents that describe ways for downloading video content.
As Acacia sees
it, the software or processes of those subsequent processes are
inmaterial, that it's broader interpretation supercedes them.
How can this
The other paradox
that I have pointed out in previous articles is that USA Video has
a broad claim of their patent to mean downloading video "faster
than real time". They are testing the waters with their patent
in their lawsuit against MovieLink.com
a competitor to MovieLink.com, has licensed with Acacia. What would
happen if Acacia "marketed" to MovieLink.com to license
How can a business
be subjected to two patents that have an overlap for the same end-result
How can this
heals three times and repeating "there's no place like home"
won't get any business faced with patent infringement out of this
this article to a patent attorney who helped to inform me more about
how the patent system works. In the example I gave above about InterVu,
according to patent law, their patent would exclude people from
doing things the way their patent describes. InterVu could be infringing
upon the DMT patent, with the DMT being claimed as being a foundational
patent, and thus would be subject to licensing royalties from Acacia.
Real Networks, Microsoft, and Apple would have to license from Acacia
for their own streaming video patents.
is that even if a person gets a patent, they could be subject to
another patent, making patents even more murkier.
The DMT patent
is not a foundational patent as what the prior art shows.
If Acacia is successful in getting its broad definitions approved
by the judge in the outcome of the Markman Hearing, it opens up
even more prior art.
The next Markman
Hearing is a three day event, scheduled for May 18-20.