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.