The case reaches all the way back to 2002, when Acacia began sending out media packets to online adult companies asserting that the companies were violating patents associated with its Digital Media Transmission technology, which Acacia claimed covered virtually any manner of transmitting and receiving digital and audio content over the Internet.
Although Acacia was able to secure settlements from a number of adult companies, other companies fought back, and eventually coalesced into the united Adult Defense Group effort.
“Acacia continues its long retreat from the patents it has asserted against the defendants in the Adult Media Defense Group,” Homegrown Video President Farrell Timlake said. “Acacia has agreed that under the court’s construction all claims of the ‘702 patent are invalid. As to the second patent in the case, the ‘992 patent, under the court’s construction, we believe claims 1-18 are also invalid. During summary judgment briefing, Acacia appeared to agree with our position. Now Acacia has agreed to dismiss claim 24 of the ‘992.”
The court currently is working on a fourth claim construction order that the defense group believes will “bring the claim construction process to an end and permit the group to file motions requesting the remaining claims be declared invalid,” according to Timlake.
Homegrown CEO Spike Goldberg told XBIZ that while the judge’s recent order was a “positive development,” it didn’t signal that the case was nearing its conclusion.
“Anything in this realm just takes forever,” Goldberg said, referring to the complex process of litigating patent claims. “It’s just another part of the process, but it is definitely good news.”
Goldberg said that the most accurate way to describe the progress of the case to this point is as a “slow chipping away at the claims and getting down to the facts.”
“For a company that came in claiming to have invented this medium, they sure are a far cry from those heady days,” Goldberg said. “We’re finding out that their claims don’t hold up in court.”
Both Goldberg and Timlake anticipate that Acacia ultimately will appeal Ware’s rulings with respect to their patent claims.
“While Acacia will undoubtedly appeal Judge Ware’s claim construction orders, we are confident that the appellate court will agree with Judge Ware’s analysis and affirm his rulings, thereby bringing the case to an end,” Timlake said.
Representatives of Acacia were not available for comment by post time.