|Washington Research Foundation Files
Bluetooth Patent Infringement Action
12/20. The Washington Research Foundation (WRF)
filed a complaint
[8 pages in PDF] in U.S. District Court
(WDWash) against Matsushita, Panasonic, Samsung and Nokia alleging infringement of
several patents related to radio frequency receiver technology, and especially Bluetooth
The complaint states that the WRF "was founded in 1981 to assist universities
and other nonprofit research institutions in the State of Washington with
commercialization of their technologies and to provide support, through gifts
and grants, for scholarship and research."
The complaint states that Edwin Suominen
is the inventor of the patented inventions, and that he assigned his interests to
the University of Washington, which in turn assigned its interests to the WRF.
The complaint identifies two manufacturers of chipsets of Bluetooth enabled
devices, Broadcom Corporation and CSR plc.
The complaint states that WRF has licensed the technology at issue to Broadcom,
but not to CSR, and that the defendants have manufactured, imported into the
U.S., and sold in the U.S. Bluetooth enabled devices that contain CSR chipsets.
The complaint adds that the WRF is not alleging infringement as to defendants' devices
that include Broadcom chipsets.
The patents listed in the complaint are all titled "Simplified High Frequency
Broadband Tuner and Tuning Method". They are U.S. Patent Nos.
7,116,963. The complaint also lists two patent applications.
The complaint requests a judgment that defendants have directly,
contributorily, and by inducement, infringed certain claims of the '963 patent.
The complaint also requests injunctive relief, damages, enhanced damages for
willful infringement, and attorneys fees.
Broadcom is not a plaintiff in this action. CSR is not named as a defendant.
TLJ spoke with John Reagh, Managing Director of the WRF. He stated that he is
aware of no related lawsuits. He also said that the WRF does not anticipate
amending the complaint to add other defendants.
This case is Washington Research Foundation v. Matsushita Electric Industrial
Company, Lmited, Panasonic Corporation of North America, Samsung Electronics Company,
Samsung Electronics America, Incorporated, Nokia Corporation, and Nokia Incorporated,
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
|Intertainer Files Patent Infringement
Complaint Regarding Video on Demand Technology
12/29. Intertainer filed a complaint in
U.S. District Court (EDTex) against
Apple, Google and
Napster alleging patent infringement.
The one count complaint alleges infringement of
U.S. Patent No. 6,925,469,
titled "Digital entertainment service platform".
The abstract of this patent states that "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."
The complaint requests a judgment that the defendants have directly,
contributorily, and by inducement, infringed the patent in suit. The complaint
also requests injunctive relief, or in the alternative, "a compulsory ongoing
licensing fee". The complaint also requests the award of damages, enhanced
damages for willful infringement, attorneys fees, and costs.
Intertainer distances itself from potential allegations that it is a patent troll, or
that it has not practiced the technology that it now seeks to protect from infringement.
It states in its web site that it "was the pioneer video on demand (VOD) company for
both television cable and Internet markets."
It states that "At the height of its operations, Intertainer was available to
the nation's top 35 broadband markets and was distributed to digital cable television
customers in select Comcast Cable and Adelphia Communications markets. The Company also
featured content from its unprecedented partner relationships with Universal Pictures,
Warner Bros., DreamWorks SKG, MGM, A&E Networks, NBC, Discovery, ESPN, Warner Music,
EMI Music and many others. Its shareholders include Thomson, Comcast, Intel, Microsoft,
NBC, Qwest and Sony."
However, it ceased providing VOD service in 2002. It also states in its web site that
"In September 2002, Intertainer filed an antitrust suit against AOL TimeWarner, Vivendi
Universal and Sony, as well as their wholly owned service, Movielink, in the United States
District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division, accusing them
of conspiracy to fix prices in the digital distribution of entertainment and restraint of
Intertainer adds that "In March 2006, the defendants -- Sony, Time Warner, NBC
Universal and Movielink -- reached an out of court settlement with Intertainer that resolved
the antitrust lawsuit to the satisfaction of all parties."
Intertainer is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Santa
Monica, California. Apple is a California corporation based in Cupertino, California.
Google is a Delaware corporation based in Mountain View, California. Napster is a Delaware
corporation based in Los Angeles, California. There is no significant connection betweeen
this action and the Eastern District of Texas (EDT), where the complaint was filed. The
EDT is a forum of choice for many plaintiffs in patent infringement actions.
Congressional statute has designated the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Federal Circuit as a specialized court for appeals from patent
actions. There is no specialization at the District Court level. However, the EDT currently
operates as a de facto specialized trial court.
Intertainer is represented by Sam Baxter,
Stevenson, other attorneys at the law firm of
McKool Smith, and attorneys at the law firm of
This case in Intertainer, Inc. v. Apple Computer, Inc., Google, Inc., and Napster,
Inc., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, D.C.
12/29. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC)
Media Bureau (MB) published a web site section that
contains previously unreleased FCC documents pertaining to its various proceedings
regarding FCC regulation of the ownership of media entities. The
home page for this web section
contains hyperlinks to 42 previously published and 47 previously unpublished documents. The
newly released materials include FCC staff papers, draft papers, and presentation slides.
It also includes e-mail messages and letters that are neither written by, or for, the FCC.
It also includes copies of news reports.
Joint Board on Universal Service released
[655 pages in PDF] titled "Monitoring Report on Universal Service". See
release [3 pages in PDF].
1/3. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC)
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) published on December 29, 2006, a report on
consumer complaints and inquiries submitted during the third quarter of 2006. The FCC
removed this report from its web site on January 3, 2007. This report states that the FCC
received a total of 266,458 complaints in July, August and September. 193,504, or 72.6%,
complained regarding obscenity or indecency in radio or television broadcasts. 55,010
complaints, or 20.6%, related to "universal service". The remainder of all other
complaints totaled 17,908, or 6.7%. The FCC's
report, which the FCC has not depublished, states that complaints totaled 73,554. The
third quarter report provides no data on new issues, or issues not
assigned a category. For example, there is no pretexting related category for complaints.
A FCC spokesman declined to answer questions from TLJ regarding the data in the third
quarter report, or about the number of complaints and inquiries pertaining non-categorized
issues. Stephen Ebner (Chief of the CGB's Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division)
did not return calls from TLJ.
|Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
|Wednesday, January 3
The House and Senate will next meet at 12:00 NOON on Thursday,
January 4, 2007. See,
12:30 PM. Rep.
Barney Frank (D-MA), the incoming Chairman of the
House Financial Services Committee, will
give a speech. Prices vary. Location: Holeman Lounge,
National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.
1:00 - 3:00 PM. The Copyright Office
and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
will host a roundtable the activities of the
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) regarding the proposed
Treaty on the Protection of the Rights of Broadcasting Organizations. See,
notice in the Federal Register, December 12, 2006, Vol., No. 238, at Pages
74565-74566. Location: Atrium Conference Room, USPTO, 600 Dulany Street,
Madison West, 10th floor, Alexandria, VA.
1:00 PM. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will make an
announcement regarding "nationwide interoperability". Michael Chertoff will
speak. Location: Unified Communications Center, 2720 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., SE.
|Thursday, January 4
The House and Senate will meet at 12:00 NOON on Thursday,
January 4, 2007, to begin the 110th Congress. See,
Members will take the oath of office. The House may consider HRes __, the
House Rules Package for the 110th Congress.
9:30 - 10:30 AM. The
U.S. Chamber of Commerce will host a
news conference to "brief reporters on the organization's 2007 policy
objectives and priorities" and release a report titled "The State of American
Business 2007". Thomas Donohue, head of the US Chamber, and Bruce Josten, head
of government affairs, will speak. Breakfast will be served. Location: US
Chamber, 1615 H Street, NW.
|Friday, January 5
The House will meet at 9:00 AM.
EXTENDED TO JANUARY 31.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) to assist the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) in drafting a report on the ability of persons
with hearing disabilities to access digital wireless telecommunications.
This proceeding is WT Docket No. 06-203. See, original FCC
Notice [4 pages in PDF] (DA 06-2285) and
Public Notice (DA 06-2498) extending deadlines.
Deadline to submit comments to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its collection of data regarding
Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) systems in the 800 MHz band. See,
notice in the Federal Register, December 6, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 234, at
|Monday, January 8
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) regarding competitive bidding procedures for
Auction No. 72, the Phase II 220 MHz spectrum licenses auction scheduled
to commence on June 20, 2007. See,
notice in the Federal Register, December 20, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 244, at
|Tuesday, January 9
9:00 AM. The President's
Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) will meet. See,
notice in the Federal Register, December 22, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 246, at
Page 77019-77020. The PCAST web site states that this meeting will take place
on January 9-10. Location: Congressional Ballroom, Renaissance Hotel, 999 9th
10:00 AM. The Supreme Court
will hear oral argument in Sinochem International v. Malaysia International
Shipping, a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals (3rdCir)
in a case involving personal jurisdiction and the doctrine of forum non conveniens. See,
12:15 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Mass Media Practice Committee will host a
brown bag lunch titled "New rules for AM and FM allotments and channel
assignments". The speakers will include Tom Nessinger and Jim Bradshaw of the
FCC's Audio Division. For more information, contact
David OConnor at
david.oconnor at hklaw dot com or 202-828-1889. Location:
Holland & Knight, Lower Level, 2099 Pennsylvania
12:30 PM. Sen.
Ted Kennedy (D-MA) will give a speech. Location:
National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th
2:00 - 4:00 PM. The American
Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host a book forum for John Taylor, author of
Global Financial Warriors: The Untold Story of International Finance in the Post 9-11
World [Amazon]. The speakers will be Taylor (former Treasury Under
Secretary for International Affairs), John Lipsky (International Monetary
Fund), Faryar Shirzad (Goldman Sachs), and Steven Davis (AEI). See,
notice. Location: AEI, 12th floor, 1150 17th St., NW.
|Wednesday, January 10
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM. The
National Science Foundation's (NSF) National Science
Board Commission on 21st Century Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics will meet on site and by teleconference. See,
notice in the Federal Register, December 29, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 250, at
Page 78468. Location: NSF, Room 545, Stafford II Building, 4121 Wilson Blvd.,
6:00 - 9:15 PM. The DC Bar Association
will host a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar titled "Patent Law for
Non-Patent Lawyers". The speakers will include Anthony Son (Foley &
Lardner) and Elizabeth Brenner (Rothwell Figg Ernst & Manbeck). The price to
attend ranges from $80 to $135. For more information, call 202-626-3488. See,
notice. Location: DC Bar Conference Center, 1250 H St NW B-1 Level.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is scheduled to commence
No. 68 (FM broadcast auction). See, October 6, 2006, FCC
Public Notice [60 pages in PDF] (DA 06-1949).
|People and Appointments
1/3. Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) Administrative Law Judge Lillian McEwen
retired from the SEC, effective January 3, 2007. See, SEC
1/3. Brewster Kahle and
Warrington Hudlin were
named to the Board of Directors of the
Public Knowledge. Kahle founded the
Internet Archive. He is
also the plaintiff in Kahle v. Gonzales, a First Amendment challenge to
the Copyright Term Extension Act, which is pending in the
U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir).
Hudlin, who has produced and directed movies, is now President of the Black
1/3. Joe Pouliot, who was previously head of media relations for the
House Science Committee, is now a VP
at The CJR Group. His new e-mail address is jpouliot at cjrgroup dot net.
1/3. David Goldston, who was previously Chief of Staff for the
House Science Committee, will teach a
course on public policy at Princeton University, and write for
Nature. His new e-mail address is dgoldsto
at princeton dot edu.
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