Acacia Beefs Up Legal Team

Rhett Pardon
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – XBiz has learned that Acacia Research Corp. has expanded its legal team by tapping a seasoned intellectual property attorney to focus on negotiating licensing deals for Digital Media Transmission (DMT).

Attorney Edward Treska joins Acacia, which owns five U.S. and 31 international patents that it claims cover the streaming media technology that is widely used on online adult and mainstream websites.

With the addition, the Newport Beach, Calif.-based licensing firm has four attorneys on board; Treska is the second attorney added to the company this year.

“Acacia is expanding its counsel because there simply is more work,” spokesman Rob Stewart told XBiz on Thursday. “There are more opportunities coming down the pipeline.

“We’re focusing on Fortune 500 companies and online-education companies that use DMT technology,” he said. “Claims against adult webmasters are a small part for Acacia, but they have generated the most interest.”

On Monday, Acacia said it signed its 120th deal for DMT technology with investment firm T. Rowe Price. So far this year, the company also has signed up The Walt Disney Co., NXTV and adult companies Playboy and Cyberheat, which owns 100 online adult websites under the Topbucks name.

The company has filed suit against numerous online adult companies, which have either settled or signed deals. A group of companies – New Destiny Homegrown, Video Secrets, Club Jenna, CyberTrend, Cybernet Ventures, Global AVS (ProAdult), Lightspeed, ARS, Gamelink, Ademia, AEBN, Audio Communications, and National A-1 – are challenging Acacia’s patents in U.S. District Court.

Treska was most recently general counsel for SRS Labs Inc., a licensing company specializing in audio enhancement. Prior to that, he practiced law with the intellectual property boutique firm of Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear and was a design engineer with the TRW Space & Technology Group. He earned a law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law.

At Knobbe Martens, Treska represented La Costa, Calif.-based Software Advertising, which claims it owned patents for screen savers that include advertising.