Acacia Secures European Patents

Gretchen Gallen
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Acacia Technologies Group announced Wednesday that it has secured 14 additional DMT patents that cover a wider swath of Europe, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Monaco, Luxembourg, and Greece, the company reported.

Prior to today's announcement, Acacia was issued 17 patents in Europe and 5 patents in the U.S. that pertain to DMT technology and the transmission and receipt of digital audio and digital video content over the Internet.

That number now stands at 31 European patents, and according to Robert Berman, executive vice president of business development, Acacia currently has more than 900 additional pending patent claims in the U.S. and Europe combined.

"We have hundreds of additional DMT patent claims pending in the U.S. and Europe that we expect to be granted, with the original 1991 priority date," Berman told XBiz. "Our license agreements cover both existing and future DMT patents, so our licensees are covered no matter what additional DMT patents are granted. On the other hand, for those companies that elect to try and fight these patents in court, the fight will continually get harder as additional patents are issued and asserted against the litigants."

There has been much speculation over when Acacia will begin to approach the European webmaster community over patent infringement claims, and while Berman did not offer an exact date, he said that Acacia will be rolling out a European licensing campaign sometime in 2004.

Berman added that many European adult entertainment companies are already covered under Acacia's U.S. patent claims because they hold themselves out to do business in the U.S.

According to Brandon of Fight The Patent, Acacia announced in its Q3 conference call that they would be going into the European territory by Q4 of 2003.

"It's now Q1 2004, and with the PR of their European patents, it would seem they are ready to go to Europe.

Brandon added that Acacia should expect to face even more rancor from the European Internet community than it has in the U.S.

"Folks especially from the Netherlands are really adamant against Acacia and feel that Acacia will have a lot of difficulty coming up against European laws," Brandon told XBiz. "They are ready to fight this thing."