The patent covers data conversion as performed by pretty much every modern multimedia system.
Intel, AMD, and NVidia are among the companies currently being sued by a company called Implicit Networks which claims a whole raft of tech firms owe it a substantial sum of money.
The company is claiming that various firms associated with semiconductor and network technologies – Intel, AMD, NVidia, Sun, Real Networks, and Raza Microelectronics to name them all – have infringed a patent it holds for “Methods and System for Demultiplexing a First Sequence of Packet Components to Identify Specific Components Wherein Subsequent Components are Processed without Re-identifying Components
The patent, United States Patent 6629163
, is described in the abstract as being for passing received data through “message handlers
” which convert the data into a “target data type
.” Which sounds to me like the initial companies listed in the litigation could just be the start of Implicit's suing spree.
The claims are that the patent is substantially infringed by Intel's Viiv technology, AMD's ATI graphics technologies, Nvidia's nStant Media software, Sun's Java Media Framework, Real's Helix DNA package, and Raza's Alchemy portable media player designs.
If successful in their bid to bilk the companies for all that they're worth – and if any Implicit Networks lawyers are reading, I'm kidding here – then we can be sure that no company producing media handling software or hardware will be safe. Although the roster of current targets is impressive, I can think of two other companies of the top of my head who would also infringe the patent if found valid – perhaps Steve
are just too scary to face in the courtroom?
Another patent troll, or do you think Implicit stands a chance of getting some cash out of all this? Share your thoughts over in the forums