By Mark Hachman  |  Posted 2004-06-15 Print this article Print

-Room Fees"> The additional royalties could result in a windfall for Acacias DMT licensing department, which reported just $599,000 in licensing revenue for the first quarter. Acacias terms include a fixed rate for "voluntary" royalty payments; that rate will increase for companies that fight Acacia in court, Berman said. The royalty rates charged to the cable and satellite industry are modeled on the per-room fees Acacia assessed the on-demand industry. Acacia will charge the cable and satellite companies 50 cents per each analog subscriber, $1 for each digital subscriber and $1.50 for each subscriber who uses on-demand services, Berman said.
The numbers could add up quickly: Comcast alone reported about 20.9 million basic-cable subscribers in the first quarter, of which 19 million had access to high-definition digital cable and 17 million had access to on-demand services.
Cox Communications, another large regional ISP, ended the first quarter with 6.4 million basic customers and 2.2 million digital subscribers. Although Acacia has caused an uproar in the adult entertainment and streaming industries, the company has flown under the radar of codec companies such as Microsoft Corp., Apple Computer Inc. and even Sony. Companies such as Acacia are building a war chest of royalty payments from smaller companies before they can challenge larger players, Mark Kaufman, an IP attorney with Nixon Peabody LLP in New York, said in a panel discussion streamed from Streaming Media East by "Patents licensed on an industrywide basis are less susceptible to a claim of being obvious," Kaufman said. Meanwhile, Acacias lawsuits against a collection of online adult-entertainment companies continue to proceed in Southern California. On July 7, a judge will hear Acacias motion to bring those disparate suits together in a class, to be heard in the Central District, Berman said. The suits against the cable and satellite companies were filed in a separate district court to eliminate the possibility that the porn companies could use the new suit as a delaying tactic, Berman said. An initial ruling in a pretrial Markman hearing–defining the terms of the contested patents for trial purposes–will be issued this summer, Berman said. Check out eWEEK.coms Infrastructure Center at for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel