According to court documents obtained by XBiz, the intention of the class-action suit is to prove the validity, enforceability, and ownership of Acacia's five U.S. DMT patents. Acacia might still have to pursue each company individually for patent infringement even if the class-action suit is successful.
The purpose of creating a defendant class is so that Acacia does not have to re-litigate certain issues over and over again. The class-action status of the suit also gives Acacia the option of grouping dozens if not hundreds of porn companies into one single defense category.
Acacia claims in court documents that filing lawsuits individually would create the risk of "inconsistent and varying adjudications with respect to individual members," and a waste of court time and resources.
Cybernet Ventures, parent company of Adult Check, is named as the class representative, which effectively means that Cybernet will be expected to act as the main defendant in the case.
This week's filings come on the heels of an announcement in December that Acacia planned to pursue class-action status against the porn industry. Acacia expressed at the time that it was choosing to go after online adult companies as one class due to the enormity of the industry and the procedural difficulties so many cases filings would involve.
Originally Acacia had named Global Media Resources, the parent company of Python and related sites, as the second class representative, but Global Media Resources was not mentioned in court documents filed this week.
Additionally, Acacia is seeking to consolidate the 14 defendants that are currently counter-suing the patent holder, among them New Destiny Internet Group, VS Media, Adult Revenue Service, Club Jenna, and several other companies involved in the Markman Hearing proceedings currently underway in Santa Ana District Court. This would mean that for purposes of discovery, all of the parties would be treated as one entity.
Acacia's motion also set forth a timeline for a proposed case management schedule for all legal proceedings mentioned in the motion. Acacia proposes that the court hear arguments on the class action lawsuit in the beginning of July with a ruling by August. Additional dates have also been proposed including a trial date in April 2005.
Tim Umbreit of Cybernet Ventures was not available to speak with XBiz at the time of this posting.