Feeds

Friskit alleges Real Networks is a patent violator

Seeks injunction, damages

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Update Little-known US technology company Friskit has alleged Real Networks and its Listen.com subsidiary have infringed its intellectual property, and this past Friday filed a complaint with the US District Court of Chicago seeking redress.

Friskit describes itself as "a technology licensing company focused on enabling consumers to conveniently find, personalise and play streaming media over a network". The company owns three patents, all issued since May 2002, which all centre on techniques to seek out, incorporate into playlists and access streamed media on a network. Friskit has been dubbed in the past the 'Napster of streaming', allowing users to find the streams they want from anywhere on the web.

Friskit claims that Real's RealOne Player Plus and Listen.com's Rhapsody service make use of such techniques without its authorisation. Its complaint seeks a permanent ban on the provision of both services, not to mention "potentially millions of dollars" in damages.

The patents in question are 6,389,467, entitled 'Streaming Media Search and Continuous Playback System of Media Resources Located by Multiple Network Addresses'; 6,484,199, 'Streaming Media Search and Playback System for Continuous Playback Through a Network'; and 6,519,648, 'Streaming Media Search and Continuous Playback of Multiple Media Resources Located on a Network'.

Real acquired Listen.com in April for $36 million, and has since integrated Rhapsody into its RealOne service as RealOne Rhapsody. Yesterday, the company claimed that it had seen a 45 per cent increase in subscriber demand for streamed media during June, not to mention a 100 per cent increase in the CD burning activity. These increase coincide with Real's move to offer CD burning for 79 cents a track.

Real and Listen.com have yet to respond to Friskit's complaint. Should they choose to defend themselves in court, their defence must surely rest on prior art - did Listen.com provide the services Friskit claims to own before Friskit won its patents?

Update

That's the question we asked earlier today, but we're indebted to reader Owen Smigelski for pointing out that what matters are the dates when the patents were filed, not when they were granted.

Owen is a lawyer with San Diego-based intellectual property law firm David R Preston & Associate, and notes that the filing dates go back to 2000, knocking back Listen.com's prior art search by a couple of years if they themselves weren't already offering the services described by the Friskit patents. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.