Hustler, Playboy Named in DRM Patent Lawsuit

Q Boyer
TYLER, Texas — In an action with potential Acacia-like ramifications for the online adult industry, a Texas-based company called Digital Reg has filed a patent infringement lawsuit naming Hustler, Playboy, LFP Inc. and several major media and technology companies.

The patent, U.S. Patent No. 6,389,541, was issued to Digital Reg in May 2002, and is entitled “Regulating Access to Digital Content.”

In its lawsuit, Digital Reg asserted that all the defendants have “infringed and [continue] to infringe the ‘541 patent by making, using, providing, offering to sell, and selling (directly or through intermediaries), in this district and elsewhere in the U.S., digital content incorporating Digital Rights Management technology.”

In addition to Hustler, Playboy and LFP, the lawsuit named Microsoft, Apple, Audible Inc., Sony Corp. of America, Sony Connect Inc., Macrovision Corp. and Blockbuster Inc. as defendants.

The lawsuit described the alleged infringement as “willful and deliberate” and asserted that this fact entitles Digital Reg to increased damages under federal law, as well as attorney’s fees and costs incurred in pursuing the action.

“Defendants’ infringement of Digital Reg’s exclusive rights under the ‘541 patent will continue to damage Digital Reg, causing irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law, unless enjoined by this court,” Digital Reg stated in the lawsuit.

In addition to damages and costs, Digital Reg is seeking a ruling from the court stating that the defendants “have infringed and continue to infringe claims of the ‘541 patent” and a permanent injunction “enjoining the defendants from further acts of (1) infringement, (2) contributory infringement, and (3) actively inducing infringement with respect to the claims of the ‘541 patent.”

Attorney for LFP Paul Cambria told XBIZ that he was not familiar with the complaint, and thus could not comment on Digital Reg’s claims. Attorneys for the other defendants named in the case and counsel for the plaintiff were unavailable for comment by post time.

The lawsuit was filed Oct. 5 in U.S. District Court in Tyler, Texas.

Read the complaint