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January 23, 2004

Patently Absurd - Acacia claims ownership of all digital media

Patently Absurd - that's the title of Dan Rayburn's piece this week on StreamingMedia.com. 

California-based holding company Acacia Research claims they hold patents on streaming, downloading and just about every form of digital audio and video distribution out there--including pushing MP3s from peer-to-peer groups, streaming newscasts from Internet radio sites and delivering movies through cable networks.

Acadia's approach has been to go first after adult content companies and internet radio stations, but they are starting to send nasty-grams to Fortune 1000 companies as well.  You might think it's ridiculous, and it is.  Just like SCO's lawsuits against everyone they can think of in their claims that Linux is a) theirs; b) bad; c) a threat to national security; d) unconstitutional.  They are ridiculous but they are still a threat that needs to be faced and dealt with.  Pretending they do not exist will not  make them go away. 

Acacia is currently in litigation over the matter with several adult content Internet companies, many of which are fighting back and have banded together to form the Internet Media Protective Association (IMPA) and FightThePatent.com.

What should the industry response to Acacia's actions be and what options does a company have that has received a letter? For starters, alert everyone in your company, and anyone in the industry who does not know and should, about Acacia's tactics. Education is the first step. If you have received a letter from Acacia or know of a company that has, please have them go to www.streamingmedia.com/patent. We have created an online resource where you can get detailed information on Acacia, with links to the patents, prior court documents, contact information for the patent lawyers, copies of letters companies have received and other information you may need.

Posted by larryb at 11:33 AM [permanent link]
Category: Streaming Media
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