Acacia Acquires LodgeNet Internet Patent

Gretchen Gallen
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Acacia Technologies Group and parent company Acacia Research Corp. announced Wednesday the addition of a sixth U.S. patent to its portfolio, which also includes 31 international patents.

Acacia acquired U.S. Patent No. 6,226,677 from Sioux Falls, S.D.-based LodgeNet Entertainment Corp. as part of a revenue-sharing agreement.

Acacia's newly acquired patent from LodgeNet pertains to the communication of a message from a user machine to a global computer network, which is mainly used for redirecting users to a login page for Internet access.

According to Acacia, the new patent covers third party homepage registration systems for DSL, wireless Wi-Fi and hotel high-speed Internet access.

Acacia will reportedly enforce the patent and attempt to collect licensing fees, sharing an undisclosed portion of revenue with LodgeNet.

According to the terms of the deal with LodgeNet, if Acacia does not meet pre-determined licensing revenue requirements over the course of the multi-year agreement, LodgeNet can repurchase the patent, the company said.

The relationship between Acacia and LodgeNet traces back to November 2003 when the patent holder struck a licensing deal with LodgeNet for use of its Digital Media Transmission patents, which claim ownership of all streaming media over the Internet.

LodgeNet is a provider of on-demand movies, music, and music videos and broadband services to hotels, including resort and casino hotels, throughout the United States, Canada and in international markets.

The patent was invented by Michael W. Slemmer of Sioux Falls in 1999 who worked for LodgeNet at some time, although a LodgeNet human resources representative was unable to confirm Slemmer's current status with the company.

Acacia has stated that it will enforce the LodgeNet patent separately from its DMT patent portfolio.

“Our technology development group has created significant intellectual property over the years,” said Scott C. Petersen, president and chief executive officer of LodgeNet. “We believe this relationship with Acacia will allow our company to financially benefit from that technology beyond the scope of our core business.”

LodgeNet also licenses its technology through strategic partnership programs in the Bahamas, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela.