X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Napster has a new nemesis. This time around, the online music service is battling a single inventor rather than the entire recording industry. SightSound Technologies Inc., whose founder holds a series of patents for transmitting digital video and audio signals, has sued Napster for infringement. Napster says the patents are invalid based on prior art and has requested that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office re-examine them. Last month a federal judge in Pennsylvania denied SightSound’s request for a preliminary injunction and stayed its lawsuit pending action by the PTO. SightSound is appealing the ruling. Napster attorney Charles Verhoeven said the case has implications for other online subscription services, including Apple’s iTunes, Microsoft’s MSN Music and RealNetworks’s RealRhapsody. “We’re the second target in a larger plan by them to try to obtain licenses from the entire industry,” said Verhoeven, a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges. “They contend the patents are broad enough to cover any downloading of a musical track for money.” SightSound attorney William Wells, a partner at Kenyon & Kenyon’s New York office, said he couldn’t discuss the breadth of the patent claims or whether other companies might be infringing the technology. “If others are infringing, once SightSound makes that determination, it will decide what to do,” Wells said. Based in Mount Lebanon, Pa., SightSound previously sued N2K Inc. and Bertelsmann AG subsidiary CDNow Inc. for infringement. Last year N2K and CDNow settled the case for $3.3 million, acknowledging in the settlement that the patents are valid and enforceable. The current suit is targeting the “Napster To Go” service, which allows consumers to download an unlimited number of music tracks onto an MP3 player for $14.95 a month. Napster originally allowed consumers to freely swap music files over the Internet. The Recording Industry Association of America won its copyright infringement suit against the company and shut down its service. Roxio Inc. subsequently bought Napster’s name and technology assets out of bankruptcy.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.