For those following
along with the Acacia Saga, Feb 6th is an important date. It is
the first day of the Markman Hearing for the defendants against
Acacia's DMT patent infringement claims.
In order to
get everyone up to speed on this event, I have written a Markman
Hearing Primer... satirized for your sanity.
The term Markman
Hearing came from the result of the case Markman v. Westview
article talks about Markman Hearings, with an excerpt provided
hearings are argued before a judge. Claim construction arguments,
based on canons of construction, address the use of the terms in
the claims, the use of the same terms in the patent specification,
arguments made during the prosecution of the patent application
and, possibly, industry usage of those terms."
Both sides filed
their arguments to the court for review. FightThePatent.com has
obtained copies of those court documents.
For those arm-chair
patent hobbyists, the court filings are very interesting. You will
notice the importance of the use of words and the definition of
words is critical for either side in defining/defending their claims
The zip file contains the pre-Markman court filings for the defendants
and Acacia. New Destiny is Home Grown Video and also represents
7 other defendants. CyberHeat, aka Top Bucks, is listed in the document,
but they have recently settled with Acacia. Offendale, aka IWI,
MaxCash, is not part of the Defense Group and have retained their
own patent attorney firm.
The first line
of the Introduction in the New Destiny document sets the tone for
case is ripe for dispositive claim constructions pursuant to Markman
v. Westview Instruments Inc."
through the FightThePatent Legalese Translator, it comes out as:
the DMT patent were a cheese, it would be Swiss Cheese, filled with
so many holes. It might also be Limburger because everything about
the methods used to solicit/license the patent and the overly broad
interpretations really stink."
FightThePatent is (not even) considering filing a patent for the
translation of legalese into satirical commentary. Whether a programmatic
method or a manual translation, this process could be broadly extended
to all comical outlets such as the Daily Show or even commentary
by radio personalities. FightThePatent is not responsible for the
cheesiness of the outputted results and blames the computer.
document was run through the
Legalese to Satirical Commentary translator and it produced the
your videos are belong to us"
Analysts are still analyzing the results, equating it similarly
to the cookbook titled 'To Serve Man' from a sci-fi classic Twilight
Zone episode or to the output of '42' from the Hitchhiker's Guide
to the Galaxy.
Below is a breakdown
of all of the players involved in the Acacia Saga in the Adult Industry
added lawsuits on 12/18/2003*
list of sponsors that settled**
singles.com, hotmovies.com , girls.com , guys.com , ladies.com,
slaves.com , celebrities.com, cash.com
Webpower Inc. = Click Cash (iFriends)
Ventures = Adult Check
AVS = ProAdult
ICS Inc. = adult.com / GFY
* the position
of those listed in fighting or settling has not been determined
** from LicensedSponsors.pdf
outcome of the Markman Hearing might be the
way the terms and definitions used by Acacia could have the judge
find their use to be improper in application. The use of the word
'transmission' is highly contested as the DMT patent was never envisioned
to include the Internet, but instead a Video-On-Demand system involving
switched-based networks (ie. telephones). After the judge rules
in the defendants favor on the terms used and some follow-up sessions,
the judge could eliminate most of the claims leading to the end
conclusion of the defendants not-infringing upon the patents....
The end result would not invalidate the patent.
implications of this outcome could mean that the defendants and
potentially anyone who uses digital audio/video over the internet,
and who has not licensed the patent, would not be infringing on
companies that already licensed the patent would have to continue
to pay licensing fees. These companies would have a difficult time
to break their contract, because they voluntarily agreed to the
definitions that Acacia used in the license.
For those involved
in the fight, it would be a bitter-sweet victory to show the rest
of the Adult Industry that those that signed were on the wrong side
of the fence of this major issue. While I am sure there will be
shouts of joy at the conclusion of this story, it does illuminate
how issues like patents can divide companies and industries.
Hearing is scheduled for April 9, 2004