Apple now licensing OpenTV streaming technologies, ends worldwide litigation

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
An agreement has been forged between Apple and the Kudelski group, with Apple paying to license a suite of media streaming patents, to conclude an international patent battle.




OpenTV's parent company, the Kudelski Group revealed the "comprehensive patent license" on Tuesday. Under the terms of the agreement, the parties agreed to dismiss all pending patent litigation. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The initial U.S complaint was filed in the Northern District of California court systen in May 2015. OpenTV was seeking compensation or royalties, along with supplemental damages for willful infringement.

The five patents that named in the OpenTV suit were awarded in the late 1990s to early 2000s, prior to the Kudelski Group's purchase of the company in 2010. The complaint centers around the iTunes implementation of storing, securing, and distributing programming to consumers to iOS devices, OS X hardware, or the Apple TV.

In March 2016, The Dusseldorf District Court ruled in favor of the Kudelski Group's OpenTV, and ruled that products using the infringed patents must not be sold in Germany. Tuesday's agreement lifts the potential ban, which was working its way through the appeal process.

The core technologies that Apple has now licensed are also at the heart of CNN Enhanced TV, DISH Network interactive shopping, and QVC real-time shopping. The Kudelski Group claims that OpenTV technologies have been integrated into over 160 million devices, mostly set-top boxes.

The Kudelski Group has licensed the OpenTV technology to Cisco, Disney, and Google. Multiple cases are still pending against other tech firms.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,185member
    Great move.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,345member
    I still don't fully agree with how the patent system works. This feels more like an "idea" being protected, rather an "specific technical implementation" of an idea. However, I know very little about it. I could be wrong. But the patent system still fails to account for the fact that two people, or two groups of people, can come up with the exact same idea or solution without having any former knowledge of that idea or solution already existing and being patented. Seems flawed that the original patent owner should benefit from someone else coming up with the same idea. Again, it's probably more complicated than that, but I have personal experience of coming up with my own ideas that have since been discovered as patented. So suddenly I must pay the patent holder for my own idea? Bizarre.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    ktappektappe Posts: 758member
    So members of the Kudelski Group now get to retire on millions of dollars that they didn't rightfully earn but managed to legally squeeze Disney, Apple, Cisco, and Google for. Great "work" if you can get it. What a country. /s
    williamlondonlatifbpjbdragonlostkiwi
  • Reply 4 of 4
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,647member
    I still don't fully agree with how the patent system works. This feels more like an "idea" being protected, rather an "specific technical implementation" of an idea. However, I know very little about it. I could be wrong. But the patent system still fails to account for the fact that two people, or two groups of people, can come up with the exact same idea or solution without having any former knowledge of that idea or solution already existing and being patented. Seems flawed that the original patent owner should benefit from someone else coming up with the same idea. Again, it's probably more complicated than that, but I have personal experience of coming up with my own ideas that have since been discovered as patented. So suddenly I must pay the patent holder for my own idea? Bizarre.
    I'm not going to guess at what was patented as frankly I have no desire to read a patent application today.   However the patent appears to be supported in a number of patent courts worldwide so it must be a technology that is sound and real.

    As for two people claiming to have developed the same thing, that does happen very often in fact.   Just look at the history of the Laser to see how tangled that web can be.   This is one of the reason that R&D labs often require scientist and developers to make use of paper notebooks with strict dat entry protocols.    It may seem absurd to some but often patent litigation of this type is solved by reviewing the history of the development process as it is documented in handwriting in a laboratory log book.   

    As far as your issue it isn't bizarre at all.   The whole point of the patent system is to protect the original inventor.   By doing so the economy is strengthened as incentive is given to the inventor and the risk taking businessmen.   The fact that you came up with the same thing a week or a decade later doesn't mean much.    All that really counts is the one that was first to the patent office with the idea.   This brings up another thing, a secret process keeps the competition from patenting something before you do.    In some countries, Germany is one I think, you have to keep the item being patented secret because public disclosure before a patent makes the idea unpatentable as it si now public knowledge.

    Here in the USA we actually have fairly rational patent laws.   Copyright laws went to hell when we accepted European standards for copyright lengths.    I'm actually surprised that their isn't more concern over copyright due to the absurdness of the terms for these works.
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