Software Patents in Action: Acacia Video Stream Downloading
On their WiFi hotspot redirection patent
2004-11-30 US ZDNet.com: Wi-Fi Acacia's next patent target
On their video streaming patents
2005-04-01 WW BusinessWeek Online: A Tiny Giant In Video Patents
2004-07-16 US Charlotte.com "Tough road for group seeking to nullify 'dubious' patents" (--> EFF)
2004-07-16 DE Heute: Juristische Wegelagerei - US-Firma will weltweit bei Videostreams abkassieren (German state TV worried about Acacia, otherwise very superficial article, with link to a video clip that confuses copyright and patents and portrays ffii as a lobby of software pirates)
Acacia Research, a californian software patent licensing company, owns a European Patent EP 566662 and has cited this patent in letters by which it extorts money in Europe. Especially Danish and Swedish companies have been affected. These companies typically also operate in the US. It is unclear to what extent Acacia's extortion relies on presumptions of validity of its European patent.
Acacia started from the porn web business and then gradually expanded to all kinds of transmission of video data. They won a first lawsuit in July 2003 and seem to have been receiving substantial license fee payments from many small and large companies, including Walt Disney Corporation.
Streaming Video patent problem.....
Schools that use streaming video to educate are at risk in the United States. Acacia Research Corporation has already sent demands for royalty payments to some U.S. universities. This is a patent granted to them for streaming video around 1991, when no one used it. Now, schools that have tight budgets are being required to pay royalties...
There is a fear from all schools that use streaming video, including elementary schools, that this will prevent them from using streaming video.
Acacia licences Disney: http://www.acaciaresearch.com/pr/022604.pdf
"Patently Absurd? Streaming Users Face Acacia Patent Fight" By Dan Rayburn January 20, 2004
- "Since January of 2004 numerous Fortune 1000 corporations and universities
- have received letters from Acacia and, not knowing what to do or where to get more information, reacted by removing all of the streaming from their websites."
"Acacia Research Streaming Media Patent Info" http://www.streamingmedia.com/patent/