Jenna Jameson Speaks Out on Acacia

Gretchen Gallen
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The porn industry's leading lady, Jenna Jameson, spoke out against Acacia Media Technologies Corp. Wednesday, accusing the patent holder of "stumbling" in its pursuit of enforcing its DMT patents for transmitting digital media over the Internet, cable, wireless, and satellite.

Jameson is one of the members of the New Destiny Internet Group, the defense group that countersued Acacia in March of 2004.

On the heels of a massive lawsuit filed last week by Acacia against a list of some of the most powerful cable and satellite companies in the U.S., the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based porn star, and founder and president of ClubJenna, claims that Acacia has revealed a "flaw" in its effort to establish licensing agreements with the adult industry.

“We think Acacia has realized that its case against the Internet adult industry is failing, so it has decided to sue nine cable and satellite giants in a new attempt to extract millions of dollars in licensing fees,” said Jameson. “Acacia is going after the adult industry because we are a politically incorrect group and an easy target. Through our efforts, Acacia has come to realize that its legal theory has stumbled and that it won’t succeed in lumping all adult companies into a single class. So it is now trying to grab what it can by going after the cable and satellite companies before the court tells everyone what Acacia’s patents really cover."

Newport Beach, Calif.-based Acacia filed a complaint on June 15 against Comcast Corp., Charter Communications Inc., The DirectTV Group Inc., Echostar Communications Corp., Boulder Ridge Cable TV, Central Valley Cable TV, LLC, Seren Innovations Inc., Cox Communications Inc., and Hospitality Network Inc., a subsidiary of Cox that supplies hotel in-room entertainment.

The complaint alleges that certain types of programming used by the nine defendants, including pay-per-view, video-on-demand, and digital ad insertion, are infringing on one or more of Acacia's five U.S. DMT patents.

If Acacia is successful in its pursuit of the cable and satellite defendants, the patent holder could collect as much as $1.25 per digital cable or satellite customer per year, according to reports.

"We all know suing the cable companies was a last resort for these people," said Spike Goldberg of Homegrown Video and one of the defendants in the defense group. "This is not a sign of confidence. There are two reasons this happened, the first is that no one will voluntarily license with Acacia, and the second is this is the next phase of their lawsuit strategy, which is to sue companies that don't comply. It is obvious their sales techniques have not been working and they are going into their fall-back position, which is to sue."

Goldberg, Jameson, and other members of the defense group, represented by the Boston-based law firm Fish & Richardson, argue that “prior art” exists that predates the Acacia patents and makes them invalid.

Prior Art includes everything publicly known before the patented invention, as shown in earlier patents and other published material.

Acacia filed a motion in April asking the U.S. District Court Central District of California Southern Division to create a class action lawsuit against all adult Internet businesses.

Last week, attorneys with Fish & Richardson filed motions in federal court asking the court to deny Acacia’s request for an adult Internet “class.” Arguments will be heard on July 7 by Judge James Ware, the judge presiding over the Markman hearing process of Acacia vs. New Destiny Internet Group.

A Markman ruling is expected in late July, Goldberg told XBiz.

"People in the adult industry should still be concerned because anything can happen in court," said Jameson. "If Acacia somehow succeeds they will essentially be able to shut down or get a judgment against any company they accuse of violating their bogus patent claims.”

If Ware rules in favor of Acacia's motion for a class action lawsuit against the adult industry, adult companies will be sued en masse and could face additional fines.

"The Defense Group is doing its best to help the industry," said Goldberg. "This is becoming a problem for adult companies and we see it as becoming a very serious problem in the future. I caution the industry; sitting back idly won't work any longer. Acacia's problems have now doubled and they have more problems than just us," said Goldberg.

Robert Berman, executive vice president of business development for Acacia, was not available for comment at press time.