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CC Media Now Named in Automation Lawsuit

Judge still considering when and if the case should resume

Clear Channel parent CC Media Holdings joins the ranks of those sued by DigiMedia over the studio automation equipment its radio stations use.

It’s been more than two years since DigiMedia and its affiliated company, Mission Abstract Data, first introduced a patent infringement lawsuit targeting CBS Radio, Greater Media, Beasley Broadcasting, Cumulus, Entercom and Cox Radio. CC Media was not named in the original suit.

However, that changed in November when CC Media was named in a new patent infringement lawsuit filed in federal court in Delaware. CC Media has been ordered to reply to the lawsuit by Jan. 17, 2014. The case has been assigned to Judge Leonard Stark, the same judge presiding over the original case.

The original federal suit targeting broadcasters was stayed in late 2011. Judge Stark is still considering when and if the case should resume now that the question of patentability of the technology appears to have been settled by the United States Patent and Trademark Office after several reexaminations.

The broadcasters think patent reexaminations have left the plaintiff’s case diminished, according to court documents. Meanwhile, DigiMedia has asked the judge to resume the lawsuit.

The patents — 5,809,246 and 5,629,867 — target digital media storage and automation systems that radio broadcasters commonly use. Both patents expire in 2014, according to USPTO records.

Patent Infringement Suit at Crossroads