Friday, January 05, 2007

Intertainer sues Apple, Google, Napster over internet downloads

Intertainer, once backed by Microsoft and Intel, holds nine patents, including United States Patent No. 6,925,469, which was issued in 2005 and is intended to cover the management and distribution of digital media from various suppliers, and filed a suit against Apple, Google and Napster at the end of December 2006.

The New York Times noted on Jan. 3, 2007:

“Intertainer was the leader of the idea of entertainment on demand over Internet platforms before Google was even thought up,” said Jonathan T. Taplin, now an adjunct professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. He and a secretary constitute the entire remaining staff of Intertainer.

Theodore Stevenson, a partner at McKool Smith, the Dallas firm representing Intertainer, said the company filed suit against Apple, Google and Napster because they were perceived as leaders in the market for digital downloads. He declined to specify the damages that Intertainer was seeking.

Query: can this be construed by some as a fostering, by Intel and Microsoft, of a patent troll?

As a different matter, the New York Times quoted Eric Goldman, director the High-Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law: "I have the same problem with this patent as so many of the patents of the dot-com boom days: I don’t know what it means." [Hint: reading the claims might be a good first step.]

As a separate point, the New York Times issued a correction to their initial Jan. 3 story:

Correction: January 4, 2007

A headline in Business Day yesterday about a lawsuit brought by Intertainer, a digital media company, against Apple Computer, Google and Napster misstated the nature of the litigation. It involves a patent, not a copyright.

Thus, even in 2007, the Times hasn't figured the difference between patent and copyright.

AP reported: The patent in question, filed in 2001 and granted in 2005, outlines the business model for offering video content from various providers to consumers over the TV and the Internet, Intertainer Inc. said in its lawsuit.

Intertainer claims Apple, Google and Napster are using the patent without permission. [ie, infringing the claims] The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Marshall, Texas, seeks damages and a permanent injunction. [Where else but in ED Texas?]

The first claim of US 6,925,469 states:

A system for managing and marketing digital media content supplied by a plurality of media content suppliers to a plurality of consumers, the system comprising:

a processor operable to combine media assets supplied by the media content suppliers and metadata to create a media content offering for use by the consumers said processor having a private service interface adapted to permit the media content suppliers to directly access the system to administer the media content offering;

a database for storing the media content offering; a file repository for storing media content associated with the media content offering; and

a server adapted to distribute media content stored in said file repository.

Claim 20 is a method claim:

A method for managing and marketing digital media content supplied by a plurality of media content suppliers to a plurality of consumers, the method comprising the steps of:

providing the plurality of media content suppliers direct access to a digital media content service platform for permitting the media content suppliers to supply media content to the digital media content platform by electronic transmissions; and

offering the media content to consumers in accordance with business rules governing the use of the media content.

There is a claim of priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/280,653, filed Mar. 30, 2001. [The nonprovisional was filed in Sept. 2001, and the patent issued August 2, 2005.] The prosecuting firm was Martin & Ferraro, LLP. The patent is cited in US 7,076,445.


Post a Comment

<< Home