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Delaware Court Dismisses HD Radio Suits

Digital radio patent infringement case appears to be over

A patent holding company’s infringement suit against 14 radio ownership groups has been dismissed with prejudice, meaning the suit cannot be reintroduced in court. All parties have agreed to cover their own costs, expenses and attorneys’ fees, according to court documents.

The lawsuits by Wyncomm LLC, and its subsidiary Delaware Radio Technologies LLC, targeted the terrestrial HD Radio data and voice transmissions of the radio broadcasters. The patent firms sued broadcasters in federal court in 2013 claiming the broadcaster’s HD Radio technology infringed on U.S. patent no. 5,506,866 and two other associated patents they own.

Legal observers say Wyncomm’s suit was weakened after HD Radio developer iBiquity Digital Corp. filed suit in 2014 against Wyncomm and DRT claiming the patents in question were invalid. Court records indicate iBiquity agreed to take the lead in defending its HD Radio system.

In court documents filed today iBiquity asked that its suit against Wyncomm and DRT be dismissed without prejudice pending the approval of the court. A dismissal “without prejudice” would have left the parties free to litigate the matter in a subsequent action.

The broadcasters named as defendants in the federal lawsuit were Beasley Broadcast Group, CBS Radio, Clear Channel parent CC Media Holdings (now iHeartMedia), Cox Media Group, Cumulus Media, Entercom, Entravision, Greater Media, Hubbard Radio, Radio Disney, Radio One, Saga, Townsquare Media and Univision.

Wyncomm/DRT had filed similar suits against 18 automakers around the same time it filed against the broadcasters; those suits were dismissed last fall.

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