WASHINGTON — Adult entertainment conglomerate MindGeek today scored a legal victory as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a decision to invalidate part of Skky Inc.’s patent for transmitting and playing compressed audio and video files to mobile devices.
In the decision, a three-judge panel ruled that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board did not err in concluding that the challenged claims are unpatentable because some of the steps in the patent were obvious at the time patent was issued.
Specifically, U.S. Patent No. 7,548,875 is described as an "improved method for delivery and play back of sound and image files is provided, including the use of the files as alerts for various electronic devices or for playing on a handheld device."
The patent also is listed as a delivery system that "will also integrate with future wireless technology, such as 3G systems, as it becomes available, for offering enhanced capabilities for accessing, delivering, and using sound and image files."
In the case, MindGeek filed its appeal to the appeals court with Playboy Enterprises Inc., which it has a business relationship with.
Skky, which was awarded the patent in 2009, has sued other adult companies over allegedly infringing over U.S. Patent No. 7,548,875. One case involves Vivid Entertainment; that suit is still pending. Another claim involved the former operator of Penthouse prior to its sale in February 2016; that suit was settled out of court.
The suits were brought by two inventors, John Mikkelson and Robert Freidson, who operate Wayzata, Minn.-based Skky Inc., the owner of the patent. Together, Mikkelson and Freidson are listed as inventors of 26 U.S. patents.