OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents

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itunesiconSoftware maker OpenTV has filed a patent lawsuit against Apple based on accusations that several of the company's products and services, including iTunes, infringe upon five of its patents related to streaming digital video. The civil suit was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and OpenTV is seeking undiclosed compensation for the alleged patent infringement, according to Re/code.

"OpenTV alleges that Apple’s iTunes software for downloading or streaming rented movies violates its patents for securely delivering media to consumer devices. The suit claims that other companies, including Apple rival Google, Cisco Systems and Disney, have licensed its technology."

In late February, a Tyler, Texas district court ordered Apple to pay $532.9 million to patent licensing firm Smartflash LLC in a separate iTunes-related lawsuit for infringing upon the Texas-based company's patents related to digital rights management, data storage and managing access through payment systems. Apple argued that Smartflash was exploiting the patent system and vowed to appeal the decision.

OpenTV was an early provider of interactive TV software used in millions of TV set-top boxes, according to the report, and the wholly owned subsidiary of The Kudelski Group now creates software for on-demand video services and digital video recorders. OpenTV's patents belong to a portfolio of more than 4,400 pending and issued patents related to the secure delivery of media.

Top Rated Comments

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72 months ago

Man we live in such a 'business heavy' country where corporations seemingly enjoy more benefits than the people so it's absurd that we cannot get some patent reform going. I mean seriously, how much money has a company like Apple waisted on patent trolls?

Why do you think that OpenTV is a patent troll? Or is it simply the act of suing Apple that defines a patent troll?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago

Here's a possibility:

"No entity may pursue patent infringement litigation unless said entity owns the patent and is actively marketing and distributing a device/service wherein said patented technology is being utilized"

It's just an idea, and I could be wrong here, but it sounds like this would be beneficial. Well, beneficial to everyone except some of the patent trolls.

It's a fairly old idea, and one that has been debated a bit but mostly dismissed. Two reasons it will actually result in terrible outcomes:

First, this would restrict one of the most innovative members of our society from securing patents, universities. Indeed, many public research institutions rely on patents. In an economy as specialized as ours, it doesn't make sense to require everyone to practice their own inventions. That is what licensing is for. Company A's job is to invent, company B's job is to manufacture, company C's job is to market, and the store's job is to sell. It makes no sense to require Company A to take on all those roles if it doesn't see value in doing so, and when it might be more economicaly efficient to license the patent to B, C, or store instead.

Second, this would restrict a very important part of our economy, and one that is critical to our small businesses and large ones alike: investment. Financial backers of innovators who invest in a company understand that, even if that company’s business fails, its patent portfolio will have value. That value serves as a significant hedge against the substantial risk of investing in new and unproven technology. Erasing it would reduce investment in innovation.

Also, most famously, Thomas Edison did not practice many of his patents. Surely he deserved the rights and protections they offered. :D

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And this matters why?

It might matter because if a patent owner knows about infringement, and does nothing about it for a long time, it might be estopped from asserting their rights if the infringer relied on your continued inaction. It's the doctrine of shackles.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago

Man we live in such a 'business heavy' country where corporations seemingly enjoy more benefits than the people so it's absurd that we cannot get some patent reform going. I mean seriously, how much money has a company like Apple waisted on patent trolls?

The America Invents Act, AIA, in 2011, introduced a lot of reform which has caused a measurable decline in nuisance suits, has make it affordable to challenge bad patents, and made broad multi-defendant suits impossible. The Supreme Court has also reformed many things, including limiting software patents and making it easier for defendants to recoup their fees if they win. Both of these has increased the quality of patents, decreased the quantity of bad patents, brought down the cost of litigation, and reduced the number of nuisance suits.

What other reform do you want?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago
Man we live in such a 'business heavy' country where corporations seemingly enjoy more benefits than the people so it's absurd that we cannot get some patent reform going. I mean seriously, how much money has a company like Apple waisted on patent trolls?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago

The America Invents Act, AIA, in 2011, introduced a lot of reform which has caused a measurable decline in nuisance suits, has make it affordable to challenge bad patents, and made broad multi-defendant suits impossible. The Supreme Court has also reformed many things, including limiting software patents and making it easier for defendants to recoup their fees if they win. Both of these has increased the quality of patents, decreased the quantity of bad patents, brought down the cost of litigation, and reduced the number of nuisance suits.

What other reform do you want?


All non-apple companies to forfeit! When do we want it? Now!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago
What else is news?
If it's not about the Apple Watch, Beats Music, the DoJ or the European Union, it had to be about a patent lawsuit. :mad:

This is just a Zombie attack from a company that's practically the corpse of a long ago promising company.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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