Roxio CD-R patent infringement claim court date set

Optima planning more lawsuits

CD burning software developer Optima's patent infringement allegations against Napster owner Roxio will be heard by the US District Court of Central California on 19 April, papers seen by The Register reveal.

The case will be heard by Judge James V Selna.

Optima claims Roxio's own CD burning code violates intellectual property granted it in patent number 5,666,531, which details a "recordable CD-ROM accessing system".

Essentially, it describes the technique used by many CD burning apps and utilities of creating an image of the disc in memory or on the hard drive which appears to the user as a CD. The virtual CD's contents can be updated at will, until the user is ready to burn the contents onto the disc, at which point the information can no longer be changed.

Software released by Optima in 1995 utilised this technique, which it says ended the need to pre-plan how and where to burn data directly to the CD.

Optima offered to license its intellectual property to Roxio, but its rival refused. Now it wants Roxio to cough up damages, unpaid royalties and lawyers fees

And not just Roxio. "Optima believes most every company in the CD burner industry may be infringing," the company's attorney, Robert Lyon, a partner at Holland & Knight, said when the legal action was announced, last December.

Optima claims that the patent is infringed by now standard ways of burning CDs as laid down by the CD-R and CD-RW technology guarding, the Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA). Roxio is an OSTA member, as is Sony, HP, Imation, Microsoft, Pioneer, Ricoh, Toshiba and Verbatim. Associate members include Apple, Eastman Kodak, Epson, Fujitsu, Iomega, JVC, Plasmon and many more of the CD-R industry's leading lights.

Optima CEO Robert Adams told The Register: "Get ready for more" - a hint that further legal action may be in the offing.

For its part, Roxio disputes the allegation, claiming that none of its products utilise techniques described by Optima's patents. ®

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