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Now Automakers Named in HD Radio Patent Suits

Previously sued radio groups ask for extension

Companies that some view as a so-called patent troll that sued several radio groups over their HD Radio broadcasts earlier this month are now taking on auto manufacturers.

Delaware Radio Technologies (DRT) and an associated company, Wynncomm LLC, filed a federal suit in U.S. District Court in Delaware alleging Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Toyota, BMW and 13 other car companies are infringing upon patent No. 5,506,866, which is entitled “Side-Channel Communications in Simultaneous Voice and Data Transmission.” That’s the same patent cited in the patent infringement suit against the radio groups.

“DRT is the exclusive licensee of the ’866 Patent in the field of HD Radio, including the exclusive right to assert all causes of action arising under said patent in the field of HD Radio and any related technology and the right to any remedies for infringement of it,” according to the lawsuit.

The suit against Ford for example, mentions the Flex, Focus, Mustang, Taurus, Explorer and other models as being equipped to receive HD Radio broadcasts described in the IBOC digital radio broadcast standard. In the lawsuit, DRT and Wyncomm seek damages and legal fee reimbursement, while offering little detail as to how exactly digital radio receivers in the manufacturers’ dashboards infringe on the ’866 patent.

Meanwhile, the majority of the 14 involved radio groups have asked for more time to respond to the lawsuit filed against them by DRT and Wyncomm. Beasley Broadcast Group, CBS Radio, Clear Channel parent CC Media Holdings, Entercom, Greater Media, Hubbard Radio, Radio Disney, Radio One, Saga, Townsquare Media and Univision all asked for a delay until Feb. 24, 2014. Cox Media asked for and received an extension until Jan. 3. Cumulus Media and Entravision had not yet asked for delays, according to court documents. All broadcasters were originally asked to respond to the suit by tomorrow, Nov. 26.

HD Radio technology developer iBiquity Digital had no comment on the new development.

Patent Infringement Suit Filed Over HD Radio