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9th May 2009

U.S. Patent Disagreement Between Two Canadian Companies Heating Up

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LegalVancouver – Earlier this week, Toronto’s Yangaroo Inc. announced that it had received a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office for  its “Content Distribution System and Method.”  The US Patent, #7529712,  will be in effect until 2026.

The announcement went on to say that “The U.S. patent for “Content Distribution System and Method” covers a method of distributing digital content, such as music and advertising, to selected individuals over the Internet, in which the uploading content provider selects the individuals that are entitled to access the content and sets release conditions, such as a time and date. Once the identities of the selected individuals have been verified at login, they are provided with access to the uploaded content if those release conditions are met.”

The following day, Yangaroo issued another announcement, stating that the corporation has “filed a claim for patent infringement in United States Federal District Court in Wisconsin requesting that the court issue an injunction against Destiny Media Technologies Inc. as well as Destiny Software Productions, Inc., and MPE Distribution, Inc. to cease the use of their system in the United States. In addition, the claim requests the payment of unspecified damages for patent infringement and other costs to be determined at trial.”

Vancouver’s Destiny Media has now issued a response to the lawsuit announcement, stating that “according to their release, Yangaroo states that a claim for patent infringement against Destiny was filed in Wisconsin today for a patent issued yesterday.  Destiny has not yet been served with this claim but is familiar with this patent and Destiny’s management is confident that the claims are without merit.  Destiny previously filed a $25 million slander and defamation suit against Yangaroo, for misleading Destiny’s customers regarding the limits of Yangaroo intellectual property rights.

Destiny first began offering the MPE® system in 1999 and has its own patent for a Digital Media Distribution Method and System (USPTO 7466823) with foreign priority dating to March 2000.  Yangaroo applied for their US patent May 8th 2003, four years after MPE® launched.  Yangaroo listed Destiny’s MPE® patent as prior art in their own application, clearly admitting that the MPE® system predated their application.

Yangaroo’s original patent application was unsuccessful and they received a final rejection on December 15, 2008, forcing them to abandon all 109 of their original claims.  They wrote and submitted a new single claim in January 2009 and this single claim patent  was granted yesterday.  Their new claim describes a method of distributing music that takes a different approach than that used by MPE®.

According to Destiny CEO, Steve Vestergaard, the suit is frivolous and only intended to create confusion in the marketplace, “They say imitation is the best form of flattery, but intellectual property law protects the invention that comes first, so their claims that we might infringe on a claim they only wrote a few months ago are ridiculous.  Play MPE® is well on the way to becoming the global standard as over one thousand labels, including all the majors have chosen our system to send their new music to radio and we will protect our customer’s ability to use the system they prefer.”

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 9th, 2009 at 9:29 am and is filed under Business News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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