Feeds

Macrovision DRM patents challenge fails

Plans licences elsewhere

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

It's not completely over yet, but it appears that Macrovision's challenge to the core Intertrust DRM patents, is now likely to fail. The United States Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences issued a ruling last week that concluded that key InterTrust patents have priority over the Macrovision claims.

A few years ago Macrovision bought a handful of patents from a bankrupt European company and realized that many of the filing dates had date precedence over Intertrust's core trust chain patents in digital rights management. Subsequently the company filed an interference suit. Interference suits are filed on the basis that one patent is very similar to another and only one company can own the patents so the courts have to decide which.

US law recognizes the company that first invented a particular technology but elsewhere the date that a patent application filed is the key date.

Macrovision made statements this week that it believes that although the court finding was adverse, it still reckons that it owns the key DRM patents in many countries outside of the US.

Macrovision said, "This is an ongoing process with other portions of the interference action still under review by the Panel. The InterTrust interference action has no bearing on patents outside the US and our essential international DRM patent applications are proceeding to issuance in Europe and Japan, unaffected by the outcome of the US patent interference action.

Bill Krepick, Macrovision CEO, said that Macrovision would consider its appeal options and said "Macrovision intend to introduce a licensing program based upon our international DRM patents as well as on those portions of the US patents subsequently issued."

So far Intertrust has been acting as if it owns all the international DRM patents on its own, and as such is one of the central patent holders within the MPEG LA licensing group that wants to license essential patents for the OMA's mobile DRM system.

If Macrovision is proved right about its international patents, it may well get to share in the payout of what is likely to be one of the world's largest ever royalty pools for DRM on mobile phones.

Sony and Philips jointly acquired Intertrust in 2002 for over $450m but were repaid when Microsoft was made to agree a $440m pay out to license its technology. It was then that Macrovision filed its patent interference suit.

Copyright © 2005, Faultline

Faultline is published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter is an assessment of the impact of the week's events in the world of digital media. Faultline is where media meets technology. Subscription details here.

Related stories

Brits have bought 5.26 million music downloads this year
MPEG LA cuts mobile phone DRM tax
Phone DRM too expensive, say carriers

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.