Spotify, an online music streaming service, has just been sued for patent infringement by PacketVideo. The suit is over software that enables wireless music and video streaming to mobile devices.
It didn’t take long for patent trouble to find Spotify in the US. The company has only been operating in the US for a few weeks and it has already attracted the attention of PacketVideo, which accuses the British company of patent infringement in the US and Europe for its cloud music service.
UK-based Spotify is being charged with violating a patent on digital music distribution. Specifically, PacketVideo is claiming that Spotify infringed it’s U.S. patent 5,636,276 patent.
PacketVideo was established in San Diego, California in 1998. Its software is said to be installed in more than 260 million devices worldwide. The company already has license deals with well known companies such as Nokia and Verizon Wireless.
The patent suit was filed in both San Diego and Netherlands courts following an unsuccessful attempt by PacketVideo to broker a licensing agreement with Spotify. The suit overall involves two patents, one US and one European, which according to PacketVideo enable Spotify’s service.
Both patents date to the mid-1990s and relate to a device for digital music distribution. PacketVideo is seeking an injunction against Spotify plus damages, while Spotfiy continues to assert that its technology is proprietary and that the suit lacks merit.
A victory in this case by PacketVideo could impact the market profoundly, due to the fact that the patent in question is broad-based. Spotify is not the only music-streaming service likely to have violated the ‘276 patent, so it’s possible that PacketVideo could go after others following a judgment in their favor.
Spotify has become one of the most popular services of its kind, and the company claims that this success is due to their proprietary technology.