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Broadcast Electronics Active in Pending Patent Suit

Company requests further information from Patent Office in automation suit

We are getting a glimpse at just how involved automation systems manufacturer Broadcast Electronics is in the long running radio automation patent infringement suit against a number of large broadcast groups.

Broadcast Electronics, which is not a defendant in the case, earlier this week filed a second ex parte reexamination request with the United State Patent and Trademark Office. The most recent request by Broadcast Electronics refers to U.S. Patent 5,629,867.

The litigation also involves a second U.S. Patent. Broadcast Electronics received word in May that the USPTO issued a Notice of Intent to Issue Ex Parte Reexamination Certificate of U.S. Patent 5,809,246, virtually guaranteeing a second reexamination of that patent.

The patent owner and plaintiff is DigiMedia Holdings Group LLC, which purchased the two patents from Mission Abstract Data LLC earlier this year. The patents describe a system and method for a programmable digital audio system for radio stations where the music is stored in a digital database.

The patent infringement suit, which has seen its share of intrigue, was filed by Mission Abstract Media in March 2011 but has been on hold since the presiding federal judge issued a stay while an examiner from the USPTO reexamined the patents in 2011. The examiner subsequently withdrew a number of major elements of the patent in October, 2011. However, Mission Abstract Data interviewed with the examiner late last year to argue the findings.

Now Broadcast Electronics is asking the USPTO to look at new issues raised during the first reexamination. Prior art submitted by Digilink and Dalet played a role in the reexamination of the patents, according to USPTO documents at the time.

The defendants in the infringement suit, including CBS Radio, Cumulus, Greater Media, Beasley Broadcasting, Entercom and Cox, have asked the federal judge to continue the stay while the USPTO continues the reexamination process. Together the defendants own over 700 radio stations, according to court documents.

RW reported last week that the plaintiff asked the federal judge to lift the stay in the patent infringement suit earlier this month. Meanwhile, a number of radio broadcasters are again receiving letters from DigiMedia requesting they sign a licensing agreement in order to use the technology.

MAD Pushes Patent Judge to Lift Stay