Ten claims from the Acacia Research Streaming Media Patent have been invalidated by the U.S.District Court for the Northern District of California. The Court invalidated the remaining claims that had been asserted in the litigation, after several others had been dropped from the suit by Acacia. EFF was not involved in the case, which was brought by Acacia against leading satellite and cable companies, Echostar, DirectTV, Time Warner Cable and CSC Holdings, Inc. Similar claims in related patents will also be invalid under the Court's analysis.
Invalidation by litigation is a different process for busting a patent than the reexamination procedure that EFF uses, but the end result is the same: the patent is ended and harassment of others using the patented technology must cease.
EFF thanks the cable and satellite companies for fighting off this bad patent, which also had been used by Acacia Research to threaten colleges and universities. This marks the seventh patent targeted by EFF that has either been busted, invalidated, narrowed or had a reexam granted.