Acacia Signs Two More Cable Companies

Gretchen Gallen
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Acacia Technologies Group continued its mainstream licensing strategy Monday by announcing the addition of two more cable television companies, Seren Innovations, Inc. and Boulder Ridge Cable TV, to its list of digital media transmission licensees.

Both companies were formerly named in a patent infringement lawsuit filed on June 15 in the District Court for the Northern District of California against nine cable and satellite companies, including heavyweights Comcast, Charter Communications, DirecTV, Echostar Communications, Cox Communications, and Hospitality Network, which provides in-room entertainment for the hotel industry.

Minneapolis-based Seren Innovations, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc., provides entertainment and communications technologies through its Astound cable TV, high-speed Internet and telephone service. The company owns a cable network in Minnesota and another one in Contra Costa County, Calif. which is in the process of being built.

Rocklin, Calif.–based Boulder Ridge, which does business under the name Starstream Communications, operates a cable system in Garberville, Calif.

The two defendants join Central Valley Cable TV in settling patent infringement allegations with Acacia. Central Valley serves 10 regions in California and claims only 2,600 subscribers. The company signed a deal with Acacia in early July as the first of the cable and satellite companies to settle with the patent holder.

The two new licensing agreements add to 169 other companies currently licensing Acacia's portfolio of digital media transmission patents, which cover stored streaming video or stored streaming audio.

Acacia Chief Executive Officer Paul Ryan released a statement saying that his company is making progress into the cable and satellite industries, as stated at the company's past few shareholder meetings,

Acacia has signed four cable companies over the past four weeks and also claims to have signed more than fifteen licensing agreements with Internet-based companies over the past month, although specifics were not available from Robert Berman, Acacia's executive vice president of business development.

A conference call is scheduled for Aug. 17 between lawyers for the Joint Defense Group, a group of adult companuies counter-suing Acacia over patent infringement allegations, and Acacia's lawyers.

According to Spike Goldberg, a Joint Defense Group defendant, the meeting agenda includes deciding on how Judge James Ware will proceed in the post-Markman Hearing stage of the suit.