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Radio Defendants Seek Meeting With DigiMedia

Broadcast attorney questions viability of continuing the suit

The radio defendants embroiled in a patent dispute with Mission Abstract Data/DigiMedia have asked the presiding federal judge in the case to schedule a meeting between the two sides to discuss the viability of continuing the suit.

The attorney representing the broadcasters, John Phillips of Phillips, Goldman & Spence, said in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Stark this week that the recently completed second reexaminations of the patents forced the plaintiffs to substantially narrow the range of what was covered by the patents. DigiMedia claims their dual patents cover all music on hard drive systems, similar to those used by broadcasters.

Furthermore, Phillips writes that DigiMedia’s recovery will be limited to what little new equipment may have been purchased and used since the reexamination process began in July 2012 and when the patent expires in January 2014. “In sum, the reexaminations limited the number and scope of the claims in dispute and eliminated most — if not all — relief that DigiMedia could obtain in the unlikely event the claims are valid and infringed.”

DigiMedia’s attorney earlier this month asked Judge Stark to resume the patent infringement litigation. The case, which has been stayed since November 2011 pending the conclusion of the patent reexaminations, targets CBS Radio, Greater Media, Beasley Broadcasting, Cumulus, Entercom and Cox Radio.

DigiMedia earlier this year filed suit against four more broadcasters, all with FM stations in Texas. They are Access.1 Communications, Tomlinson-Leis Communications LP, Hunt County Radio LLC and NM Licensing LLC, according to court documents.