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AEBN Stands Against Acacia

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Oct 30, 2003 12:00 AM PST    Text size: 
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Adult Entertainment Broadcasting Network (AEBN) formally declared itself a legal adversary of Acacia Technologies Group, the holder of patents pertaining to the streaming of audio and video content.

Since July of this year, Acacia has been holding adult website operators and affiliates liable for the use of its streaming media technology. However, according to AEBN, the validity of Acacia's patent claims remain to be proven in a court of law.

"We would like to assure the adult community that we are resisting Acacia's patent claims," AEBN President Scott Coffman said in a statement. "We feel that challenging Acacia's claims are in the best interest of our industry."

Considered industry-wide as one of the largest providers of adult video content on the Internet, AEBN joined forces with the Internet Media Protective Association (IMPA) against Acacia Technologies.

The IMPA is a non-profit defense team based in Lake Elsinore, Calif. that was formed in July of this year by a group of adult entertainment companies that refused to concede to Acacia's patent claims. The defense team is represented by Boston-based patent specialist Fish & Richardson, which in the past has won patent suits for Microsoft Corp.

IMPA is also dedicated to confronting a variety of other issues facing the adult industry.

"Now more than ever we must organize ourselves in order to strengthen our position as a viable industry that can protect itself against present and future threats of commercial success," the IMPA said in a statement. "Our goal is to help fight against predatory practices that impede lawful commercial efforts while seeking to standardize the way we conduct these efforts within our industry."

Some of the founding counter-litigants against Acacia included Spike Goldberg of New Destiny/Homegrown Entertainment, Vivid Video, Wicked Interactive, Larry Flynt Publications, Private Media Group, New Frontier, and Excalibur Entertainment, many of whom have since settled with Acacia and taken out licensing agreements for its DMT technology.

AEBN is just one of many adult entertainment companies that has received phone calls and letters from the patent holder claiming copyright infringement. In recent weeks, AEBN has also received calls from its affiliates concerned about similar liability threats.

"AEBN cannot offer legal advice on this matter, but there are resources to help with decisions in dealing with Acacia," the company stated.

According to Acacia, of the 39 original adult entertainment defendants that it has been in pursuit of, only 13 defendants remain, and many of them are in serious talks with Acacia regarding settlements.

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