Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Sting, Featuring Intertainer

This is patently absurd. According to a New York Times article, a "video on demand" company called Intertainer is suing Apple, Google and Napster for patent infringement. At issue apparently is Intertainer's patent #6,925,469, filed in 2001 and granted in 2005, for a "digital entertainment service platform".

Despite initial backing from Microsoft and Intel, Mr. Taplin said the two companies were not involved in the decision to bring the Apple, Google and Napster lawsuit. He said that decision was made by Intertainer’s board and that none of his original corporate backers have board seats. Several of the company’s original investors have taken patent licenses, he said, but he would not name the companies.

Despite the company’s decision to file the case in a federal district court in Texas that has traditionally looked favorably on plaintiffs in patent lawsuits, several digital media experts said that Intertainer might have a difficult time enforcing its patent because of its relatively recent filing date of 2001.

By that time, for example, Real Networks, the Seattle-based pioneer in streaming digital media, had begun an Internet subscription service for digital content.

Here is the abstract from Intertainer's patent, the Times article mentioned they hold eight others, I will probably Google them as well and have a look, but this one has serious questions about patent quality.

The present invention is directed to an open business platform that provides an end-to-end solution for managing, distributing, and/or retailing digital media assets from various content suppliers. In one or more embodiments, the present invention provides an integrated system that permits media content suppliers to deposit their media assets with the system where they are prepared by a content management system for distribution to consumers via a secure distribution system. The media content suppliers may then track and-control the use of their media assets through a subscriber management system for managing consumer accounts, a licensing server for issuing licenses restricting the use of media content, and a royalty reporter for determining and reporting royalties to the various content suppliers.

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