Apple, Netflix, Amazon, and More Face Lawsuit Over Media Transfer Patent

On Friday, iMTX Strategic LLC filed a series of nearly identical complaints in Delaware federal court against multiple media technology companies for an alleged violation of U.S. Patent No. 7,269,854.  The patent, called “Transaction System for Transporting Media Files from Content Provider Sources to Home Entertainment Devices,” purports to control the method in which a user’s request for particular media is sent to a media server, authenticated for that particular user, and then subsequently received by the user from media severs.

The ‘854 patent was granted in 2007 and has been owned by iMTX since 2011, according to the patent registration record.  The six complaints filed on April 25 include allegations that the media companies violated the patent by the methods used to offer streaming music and video, as well as provide music and video on-demand services.

Individual complaints were filed against Apple, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO, Verizon, and Vudu.  The complaints do not include a specific amount of damages or lost licensing royalties iMTX Strategic is seeking to recover.  Similar complaints have been filed by iMTX Strategic within the past year against Vimeo, Rhapsody, and Spotify.  Vimeo has since filed a response to the complaint denying all allegations of infringing the ‘854 patent.  Further, Vimeo claims in their response that their services do not utilize the unique encryption process described in the ‘854 patent.

iMTX Strategic hasn’t filed any additional patent-related lawsuits other than these nine complaints to date.  You can check out all the complaints and Vimeo’s answer here. It remains to be seen how these media industry giants will respond to the complaints.  What do you think of this patent?

Image credit: Franklin Graves