Adult Live-cam Operators Beat Patent Claims

Rhett Pardon
MARSHALL, Texas — The patent suit involving a dozen adult live-cam operators appears to have come apart.

On Wednesday, the patent holder that is suing the adult companies filed motions to dismiss claims against eight of the companies, with each of the parties bearing their own attorneys fees. A judge has yet to sign off on the dismissals.

The patent infringement suit waged by Joao Control and Monitoring Systems targeted the adult biz's foremost blue-chip brands that have business in the live-cam space.

Included in the suit were Playboy Enterprises, Penthouse Media Group, LFP Internet Group, FriendFinder’s Steamray Inc., Vivid Entertainment, Playboy's ClubJenna unit, Anabolic Video Productions, Evil Angel Productions, New Destiny Internet Group, Shane Enterprises and Private Media Group’s GameLink.

Joao on Wednesday dropped from the suit Anabolic, Shane, New Destiny, LFP, GameLink, Evil Angel, ClubJenna and Vivid

Two mainstream companies also were named to the original suit, which was filed in November.

From the get-go, many legal experts were puzzled by Joao's claims with U.S. Patent No. 7,277,010, which claimed that the live-cam companies were infringing on mechanisms that trigger authorizations over the web.

Even the federal judge in the case was skeptical of the patent claims. At one point, U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis said the original complaint contained 264 claims and was "unmanageable."

He asked for "some greater specificity" if the case were to continue. But last week, Joao amended its complaint, which appeared just as vague as its original.

Greg Clayman, co-founder and president of VS Media Inc., which white labels live cams for adult companies, said he was happy with today's news.

"We are pleased that we could resolve the dispute in an efficient manner and protect VS Media's clients," Clayman told XBIZ.

U.S. Patent No. 7,277,010 is owned by Yonkers, N.Y., patent attorney, who owns a wide variety of patents, reportedly over 90.

He recently filed suit against more than a dozen banks and communications companies, including AT&T Inc., American Express Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. The banks are accused of infringing a patent that covers an apparatus and method for making secure credit card transactions.

XBIZ calls for comment to attorney Longview, Texas-based attorney Andrew Spangler, Joao Control and Monitoring Systems' attorney, went unreturned at post time.

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