Monday, July 21, 2014

Blue Spike Sues Facebook over Anti-Piracy Techniques

Case Summary:
Blue Spike, a Texas-based content management and applied security solutions company sued Facebook in District Court of Texas on July 17, 2014 claiming that four patents related to monitoring and analyzing signals were infringed.

The patents involved in the suitwere: US7346472, US7660700, US7949494 and US8214175 all entitled ‘Method and device for monitoring and analyzing signals,’ issued on Mar 18, 2008, Feb 09, 2010, May, 24, 2011 and Jul 07, 2012, respectively. The ‘472 patent expires* on Sep 07, 2020 and the ‘700, ‘494 and ’175 patents expire* on Dec 26, 2027. Blue Spike is the current assignee+ of the patents (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database). The patents describe methods and devices that relate to signal recognition to enhance identification and monitoring activities.

As in Complaint:
Moskowitz is an inventor and CEO of Blue Spike. According to the complaint, Moskowitz pioneers and continues to invent technology that allow copyright owners to more easily identify pirated songs, movies, TV shows and other forms of digital media. The patents-in-suit comprise signal fingerprinting, acoustic fingerprinting, or robust hash functions techniques for combating piracy, which are completely undetectable to the thief, yet still enable content owners to easily search through large amounts of data to identify unauthorized copies of their works.

The complaint also stated that these patents were forward-cited in at least 50 U.S.-issued patents, including patents originally assigned to such prominent companies as Microsoft, Harmonix Music Systems, Digimarc, Agilent Technologies, Nvidia and Avaya.

Accused Products and Services:
Defendant manufactures products, systems and/or services including facial recognition software including Tag Suggestion feature, which infringe one or more claims of the patents-in-suit.

Alleged Infringement:
Facebook without license or permission from Blue Spike has infringed one or more claims of the patents by importing, making, using, offering for sale, or selling products and devices that embody the patented invention.

Other Case:
Since 2012, Blue Spike filed more than 100 suits and this is one of 3 cases filed this month. Other Blue Spike defendants include: Shazam, BIO-key International, Google, Adobe, Yahoo, Rovi, NEC, Nielsen, Myspace and Metacafe.
See 6:14-cv-00618 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.
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* 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. 

+ MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.

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