RealNetworks and Listen.com Sued
A company co-founded by George Aposporos, Amazon.com's ex-vp of business development, is suing RealNetworks and Listen.com for alleged patent infringement.
The firm, Friskit Inc, is a San Francisco-based technology licensing company, "focused on enabling consumers to conveniently find, personalize and play streaming media," it says in a statement here.
Friskit cites RealNetworks' RealOne Player Plus and Listen.com's Rhapsody service for infringement based on what Friskit says is its core technology and key features.
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"We've spent years and millions of dollars developing and patenting the most convenient ways for consumers to find, personalize and play streaming media over networks," says Aposporos, chairman and ceo.
He and Aviv Eyal, "an inventor and Internet software technologist", co-founded Friskit which was the first company to, "create and patent key innovations enabling consumers to conveniently find, personalize, and play streaming media over a network," says the statement.
"These patented technologies are essential for on-demand media subscription services. The beta of Friskits' first product, a streaming media search engine capable of sequential and continuous playback of search results, among other features, was released in 2000.
"Though more than 100,000 people quickly became beta users of Friskit's first product, the founders foresaw the music industry opposition that ultimately prevented the commercialization of a generation of online music companies like Napster. Friskit changed its business strategy from a consumer service to a technology licensing model."
Friskit says its patent portfolio includes:
* US Patent 6,389,467 : 'Streaming Media Search and Continuous Playback System of Media Resources Located by Multiple Network Addresses'. Issued May 2002
* US Patent 6,484,199: 'Streaming Media Search and Playback System for Continuous Playback Through a Network'. Issued November 2002
* US Patent 6,519,648: 'Streaming Media Search and Continuous Playback of Multiple Media Resources Located on a Network'. Issued February 2003