Federal Circuit Affirms District Court Ruling Invalidating Friskit Patents
SEATTLE, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Digital entertainment services company RealNetworks(R), Inc. (Nasdaq: RNWK) announced today that it had defeated San Francisco-based Friskit, Inc.'s attempt to revive its patent infringement suit against RealNetworks. Friskit had sought damages of more than $70 million.
The Federal Circuit in Washington D.C. upheld a 2007 ruling in which Judge William W. Schwarzer of the Northern District of California invalidated all asserted claims. RealNetworks was one of the first patent defendants to rely upon the Supreme Court's decision in KSR Int'l Co. v. Teleflex Inc. Judge Schwarzer agreed that Friskit's "inventions" were nothing more than obvious combinations of elements found in the prior art, including RealNetworks' own products.
In April 2006, Real won at trial in a patent infringement suit brought by Ethos Technologies Inc.--another victory that was affirmed by the Federal Circuit. Today's ruling is a win not only for RealNetworks but for all companies that find themselves the targets of frivolous suits demanding huge damages on patents of doubtful validity.
"We are delighted with our defeat of Friskit in the Federal Circuit," said Robert Kimball, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for RealNetworks. "Once again we have demonstrated that we will not be pressured into taking a license for technology we do not use and patents we do not infringe. The fact that the recent lawsuits from both Friskit and Ethos have ended with invalidation of the plaintiffs' asserted claims should make similar companies think twice before suing RealNetworks."
RealNetworks was represented in the case by lead counsel Charles Verhoeven, along with David Perlson, Evette D. Pennypacker, and Ed DeFranco, partners with the law firm of Quinn, Emmanuel, Urquhart, Oliver & Hedges, LLP, and inside counsel Bob Kimball, General Counsel, and Lindsey Godfrey, Litigation Attorney.
RealNetworks(R), Inc. delivers digital entertainment to consumers via PC, portable music player, home entertainment system or mobile phone. Real created the streaming media category in 1995 and has continued to lead the market with pioneering products and services, including: RealPlayer(R), the first mainstream media player to enable one-click downloading and recording of Internet video; the award-winning Rhapsody(R) digital music service, which delivers more than 1 billion songs per year; RealArcade(R), one of the largest casual games destinations on the Web; and a variety of mobile entertainment services, such as ringback tones, offered to consumers through leading wireless carriers around the world. RealNetworks' corporate information is located at www.realnetworks.com/company.
SOURCE RealNetworks, Inc.