Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Alcatel Sues Microsoft Over Digital Video Patents

CIO.com reported today that Alcatel filed two patent infringement suits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas last Friday. As is typical in patent infringement cases, Alcatel is seeking an end to the infringement, treble damages, and payment of interest charges and legal costs.

According to the report:
"The patents describe how to implement fast-forward and rewind functions in digital video streams, among other things."
Unlike the recent discussions regarding Microsoft and Novell/Linux, the patents under consideration were disclosed because the case is now before the courts. If you would like to form your own opinion, you can read the patent by entering the numbers at the USPTO website.
"The first suit concerns three patents: numbers 6,339,830 and 6,874,090, both entitled "Deterministic User Authentication Service for Communication Network," and number 6,661,799, entitled "Method And Apparatus for Facilitating Peer-to-Peer Application Communication."

The other covers four patents: number 6,823,390, "Method Of Setting Up Data Communication With A Communication Means And Furthermore Program Modules And Means Therefor;" number 6,112,226, "Method And Apparatus For Concurrently Encoding And Tagging Digital Information For Allowing Non-Sequential Access During Playback;" number 5,864,682, "Method and Apparatus for Frame Accurate Access of Digital Audio-Visual Information," and number 5,659,539, "Method and Apparatus for Frame Accurate Access of Digital Audio-Visual Information."

Patent number 5,864,682 describes how to implement functions such as fast forward, rewind and jumping to a specific point within a digital video stream. Microsoft's Internet television platform, Microsoft TV IPTV Edition, includes a digital video recorder with such functions. Microsoft worked with Alcatel to develop the platform."

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