Patent Infringement Suit Filed Over HD Radio

A Delaware company has sued a large number of radio broadcast groups alleging patent infringement for using its technology for their HD Radio broadcasts.

The filing last Friday by Wyncomm LLC claims the broadcasters are using In-Band On-Channel technology and therefore infringing on U.S. patent no. 5,506,866 and several associated patents. It lists Delaware Radio Technologies (DRT) as the exclusive licensee for the technology.

HD Radio developer iBiquity Digital is not named nor identified in any of the lawsuits. The company, which declined comment on the suits, licenses the HD Radio technology used by the radio broadcasters.

The ’866 patent is titled “Side-Channel Communications in Simultaneous Voice and Data Transmission” and was applied for in 1993 and granted in 1996 and originally assigned to AT&T by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent specifically describes radio transmission techniques used in the IBOC standard adopted by the National Radio Systems Committee in 2005.

The Nov. 1 filing in U. S. District Court in Delaware names Beasley Broadcast Group, CBS Radio, Clear Channel parent CC Media Holdings, Cox Media Group, Cumulus Media, Entercom, Entravision, Greater Media, Hubbard Radio, Radio Disney, Radio One, Saga, Townsquare Media and Univision as defendants in the federal lawsuit.

Wyncomm, which is identified by several observers as a patent monetization entity, is asking for a jury trial and is seeking damages from the broadcasters. The plaintiff, identified as a nonpracticing entity, has been aggressive in protecting its technology, according to court records, using the ’866 patent as grounds to sue large electronic firms Samsung, Sony, LG, Vizio, Toshiba and dozens of others earlier this year. Wyncomm is listed as a party in 113 cases filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware.

Several members of Congress have introduced legislation to combat so-called patent trolls. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez has urged an investigation and crackdown on patent abuses. In May, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), introduced the Patent Abuse Reduction Act, a measure that aims to deter patent litigation abusers. More recently, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), introduced the similar Innovation Act of 2013 in the House.

Goodlatte Introduces Anti-Patent Troll Bill


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Comment List:

If anyone here had bothered to read the actual patent, you would have seen at the bottom that it mentions wireless technologies such as cellular. IBOC is build around the same technology as the patent. They are going after the end-users because they are an easier target. Try Googling "end user protections patent suit". These guys have good reason to sue. I hope this brings down HD!
By Greg Smith on 11/17/2013
this is a perfect example of "abuse of process"...the big boys settle and the little guys get eviscerated by legal fees. Only in America can you legally beat someone to death in court, when there wasn't a fight to begin with.
By Noel on 11/13/2013
Oh by the way, this patent is for transmitting info by copperwire not airwaves. Case thrown out. If you take an idea and improve upon it, the former idea is antiquated.
By slave of congress on 11/9/2013
When will congress get off their assets and rewrite the bogus patent laws? They are just as greedy as the this bogus holding company for allowing this shit and other tech bogus patents to continue and draw the life out and kill any engineered product out there. So please, show me what product does wyncomm llc have on the market, that have their own patents in it, that anyone would actually buy.
By slave of congress on 11/9/2013
This reminds me of those old episodes of "Wild Kingdom" where the vultures were flying over the dying wildebeast. HD radio is a toy for the few stations that have money to burn. My clients looked at it, determined they had higher priorities for their limited capitol and moved on. If anyone can show where they are losing significant market share to HD competitors, they will revisit the decision.
By Michael Baldauf on 11/8/2013
Yup... Here we go again. Now all the defendants have to gather lawyers to fight this new round of greed. Money that could have been used for better purposes. I agree with Wrath of Kahn. That is exactly what will happen. They'll just turn off the HD and the sub's and be done with it. And, considering how much power HD eats, it will stay off forever. What a waste !!!!
By Michael Payne on 11/8/2013
Patent trolls are despicable creatures. But it is interesting that they didn't go after iBiquity, since it wholly owns the technology; then they could potentially get a cut of future revenues. But then again, iBiquity has no money, since the system is in a state of malaise. Better to get paid up-front than a cut of nothing, I guess.
By John Anderson on 11/7/2013
While there are few if any new home receivers being marketed, “HD” proponents keep bragging that it’s being offered in more and more new cars. So why aren’t the patent trolls suing automakers as well as broadcasters and electronics firms?
By Jack Hannold on 11/6/2013
When Vonage violated Verizon's patents, Verizon didn't go after Vonage customers. The same can be said when Apple took Samsung to court. Wyncomm (and Mission Abstract Data) are just going after the biggest possible payday. If they weren't they would sue the manufacturers. Stations don't even own their HD license, iBiquity does.
By Ed on 11/5/2013
I note that when Mission Abstract Data/Digimedia pursued its separate automation patent lawsuit, it too sought damages from broadcast owners -- the users -- not the manufacturers.
By Paul McLane on 11/5/2013
Sounds like this results from a possible dispute with Ibiquity. The owner of a patent can sue a manufacturer or they can sue the end users. If it is not possible to reach an agreement with the maker, then the patent holder may feel that they have no choice but to go after the users. This is usually not do get damages from the users, but to force the manufacturer to settle.
By Kyle Magrill on 11/5/2013
Why aren't they suing Ibiquity? Sounds like a case of going after the low-hanging fruit - or maybe the deeper pockets - rather than the company that builds and licenses the technology, who would seem to be the infringing party if the suit indeed has validity..
By Mike on 11/5/2013
Wyncomm has as much a chance of winning this lawsuit as Leonard Kahn did trying to stop Motorola, and all he did was kill the technology to the point where only 84 stations broadcast in AM stereo anymore.
By Wrath of Kahn on 11/5/2013

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