Spotify, which only arrived in the U.S. two weeks ago, has already been sued by PacketVideo for allegedly violating a patent it holds for digital music distribution.
PacketVideo develops software to help people wirelessly listen to music and watch video. The lawsuit against Spotify pertains to U.S. patent 5,636,276. According to PacketVideo, the patent, which was secured in 1997 refers to the “distribution of music in digital form.” In a statement, PacketVideo said that Spotify’s use of its patented technology “enables Spotify’s cloud-based music service.”
PacketVideo has licensed its software to numerous companies, including Verizon Wireless. PacketVideo said that its software is currently embedded in more than 260 million devices around the world including more than 320 different products.
According to PacketVideo “Spotify USA has offered for sale, sold, and imported products and/or services configured to infringe the ’276 patent, and instructed and encouraged others to use the ’276 patent in an infringing manner.” PacketVideo said it tried contacting Spotify in May about its patent.
PacketVideo requested a permanent injunction against Spotify’s service. The company is seeking damages and attorneys’ fees. Distribution of music in digital form is a very broad patent so no telling what the verdict will be. It’s interesting PacketVideo is singling out Spotify since there are a multitude of services that could fall under this patent.
According to an e-mailed statement to CNET, Spotify said that it will battle PacketVideo to the end. In its statement, Spotify said:
In just under three years, Spotify has become more popular than any other music service of its kind. This success is, in large part, due to our own highly innovative, proprietary hybrid technology that incorporates peer-to-peer technology. The result is what we humbly believe to be a better music experience-lightning fast, dead simple and really social.
PacketVideo is claiming that by distributing music over the Internet, Spotify (and by inference, any other similar digital music service) has infringed one of the patents that has previously been acquired by PacketVideo. Spotify is strongly contesting PacketVideo’s claim.
PacketVideo did not respond to CNET’s request for comment.
Do you think this Lawsuit will stick with Spotify? If this lawsuit is valid this will give PacketVideo the ability to go after many other Streaming Music Services.
More information as this progresses.