Acacia Signs General Dynamics

Gretchen Gallen
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.— In the second mainstream licensing agreement announced this week, Acacia Media Technologies continued its determined course to make all patent infringers that use its DMT streaming technology either pay up or risk being dragged into litigation.

Acacia announced today that it has signed a licensing agreement with Virginia-based General Dynamics Interactive Corporation, one of the largest technology companies in the world and a major provider of video-on-demand and high-speed Internet access to hotels.

Earlier this week Acacia signed 24/7 University, Inc., its first licensee in the online e-learning industry.

Today's announcement comes on the heels of a patent infringement lawsuit Acacia filed on Dec. 18 against eight new adult entertainment companies, including Club Jenna Inc., Orgasm.com, Webpower Inc., Global AVS, ICS Inc., Global Media Resources, parent company of Python, Cybernet Ventures, Inc., parent company of Adult Check, and National A-1 Advert, parent company of Sextoys.com, Cash.com, Ladies.com, Singles.com, and related sites.

Acacia's deal with General Dynamics, a business unit of General Dynamics C4 Systems, marks a major inroad for the patent holder within the in-room hotel entertainment sector. General Dynamics is considered a big fish across a swath of industries that include business aviation, information systems and technologies, and defense systems for the U.S. military.

The company employs an estimated 66,000 people worldwide and has sales projections in the $16 billion range for 2003. The U.S. Navy recently awarded General Dynamics a $36.6 million submarine contract.

Acacia currently holds a licensing agreement with LodgeNet Entertainment Corp., another substantial provider of digital video service for the hotel industry, and it is currently in patent infringement litigation with On Command Corp., a Denver-based in-room entertainment and business network provider.

Acacia's deal with General Dynamics is the 110th licensing agreement signed to date across a cluster of industries that it is pursuing for patent infringement.

Acacia is waiting on the District Court for the Central District of California to approve a class action status on its lawsuit against the eight newly named online adult defendants.

If granted permission by the judge, Acacia is proposing to the court that the class action suit have two class representatives, which Acacia has named as being Global Media Resources and Cybernet Ventures, Inc., the two companies Acacia believes are better able to represent the group and put up a reasonable defense.

The basis of the lawsuit contends that the eight defendants have infringed on Acacia's DMT patents by transmitting digital audio and audio/video adult content over the Internet.