Feeds

Internet video patent suit hits Google and Apple

Intertainer plans patent licensing business

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Google, Apple and Napster are being sued over their online video businesses by a company that stopped offering internet video years ago. Intertainer holds a patent that it says is being infringed by some of the tech world's biggest names.

The company now only consists of two people, according to press reports, but it will seek to assert its patent rights in a Texas court after filing an action on 29 December. It had applied for a patent covering internet video distribution, and that was awarded in 2005.

Intertainer was founded in 1996 to distribute films over the internet and won investment from Sony, Microsoft and Intel. It stopped that business in 2002.

The company holds nine patents, and the current action is based on US patent number 6,925,469, which covers the distribution and management of digital media files.

Intertainer is seeking an injunction and unspecified damages from the three companies and it is thought likely that it will pursue further suits if this one is successful. Intertainer founder Jonathan Taplin told the New York Times that the company would now begin a patent licensing business.

"Intertainer was the leader of the idea of entertainment on demand over internet platforms before Google was even thought up," he said.

The choice of a Texas court is likely to have been influenced by the reputation that some Texas courts have for handing out patent-related judgments favourable to patent holders.

Intertainer did not file the application for the patent in question until 2001, five years after the company was founded and after some companies were already offering video and audio material for download. That delay in filing could complicate the company's claims.

Google owns YouTube, which leads the world in internet video. The site offers short clips of often amateur-produced content for viewing on computers and was bought by Google for shares worth $1.65bn last autumn.

Apple owns and operates iTunes, the world's biggest legal music download service which is also moving into the business of selling video downloads.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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.