Monday, July 14, 2014

BlackBerry Accused of Violating Media Patent

Case Summary:
Texas-based patent holding company, Affinity Labs filed suit against Blackberry, formerly known as Research in Motion accusing them of infringing an U.S patent disclosing the ability to download music and playlists from an online store or stream internet radio to a portable electronic device and then connect it to a second device. The patent suit was filed in Northern District of California in Jul 07, 2014 and Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is the judge assigned to this case.

The patent at issue is: US8532641 entitled ‘System and method for managing media,’ issued on Sep 10, 2013 and expiring[i] by Sep 23, 2024. Affinity Labs is owner and holds legal right to the ‘641 patent. The disclosed embodiments of the ‘641 patent allow a radio listener to create a personal playlist and to listen to the playlist in a wireless atmosphere.

As in Complaint:
Affinity Labs was co-founded by an inventor, Mr. White in 2008, who filed the parent 09/537,812 application that the ‘612 patent claims priority to, before iPod was released and 3 years before the iTunes Store sold its first song. Other patents in the ’641 patent family have been cited by major corporations such as Apple, AT&T, Toyota, Google, Nokia, Bose, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Volkswagen, etc.

Affinity Labs alleged that Blackberry infringed by manufacturing, marketing and using Blackberry smartphones including Blackberry Z10 the audio systems and methods claimed in the ’641 patent. Blackberry’s smartphones have the ability to connect to a separate electronic device having a screen through use of wireless communication module, allowing a user to select songs stored on the smartphone for playback via that separate electronic device.

The complaint sought royalty bearing compulsory license and award damages in an amount adequate to compensate Affinity Labs for Blackberry’s infringement of the ’641 patent and that the damages be trebled.

Other Cases by Affinity Labs:
Affinity Labs has filed more than 30 cases against companies alleging infringement on its audio and media patents.
See 4:14-cv-03031 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.
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[i] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.

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