This past May, SITO Mobile R&D IP, LLC and SITO Mobile filed a lawsuit against WWE, alleging that the WWE Network may have violated their existent patents related to “system and method for routing media.”
In their original lawsuit, SITO Mobile R&D IP, LLC and SITO Mobile claimed the following:
On information and belief, and without SITO’s approval, authorization and license, WWE owns, controls, operates and uses a system for streaming media that includes the WWE Streaming Platform, as well as other WWE networks, systems, devices, components and/or services for streaming media, that practices and infringes the media streaming method recited in at least claim 49 of the ‘949 patent.
It is being said that SITO Mobile R&D IP, LLC and SITO Mobile has requested a jury trial and have further claimed they have “been damaged by the direct infringement of WWE, and is suffering and will continue to suffer irreparable harm and damages as a result of this infringement.”
The plaintiffs also alleged that WWE is utilizing technology SITO have patented:
WWE streams videos using a network(s) of servers (“WWE Streaming Platform”). WWE uses Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (MPEG-DASH) and/or HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocols to stream video content. MPEG-DASH and HLS are HTTP-based adaptive bitrate streaming techniques that enable high quality streaming of media content over the Internet from web servers. The operation of MPEG-DASH and HLS are described in standards documents.
With MPEG-DASH and HLS, a video may be broken up into thousands of small HTTP-based file segments. Each segment contains a short interval of playback time of the video. The segments are encoded at a variety of different bit rates (speeds). After a video is selected to be streamed, the media player on the subscriber device is provided with a file that informs the player, amongst other things, how to obtain the segments sequentially and how to handle ad breaks (if any). As the video is playing, the subscriber device determines the bit rate that it can handle and requests a segment(s) encoded at that bit rate. The player plays the segments in sequential order and continuously requests segments until the player has received all of the segments that make up the video.
According to PWInsider, WWE has since responded and filed a counter lawsuit that was filed on October 5. WWE denied all allegations in a 32-page response. Below is an excerpt from WWE’s 32-page response.
To the extent a response is required, WWE denies that SITO is entitled to any of the requested relief. WWE expressly denies that it directly, literally or under the doctrine of equivalents, has infringed or is infringing any of the patents-in-suit; expressly denies that SITO is entitled to any award of damages, including supplemental damages for any alleged post-verdict infringement; expressly denies that SITO is entitled to pre-judgment and post-judgement interests; and expressly denies that SITO is entitled to costs of this action, including all disbursements, and attorneys’ fees. WWE specifically denies that SITO is entitled to any award of “supplemental damages for any continued post-verdict infringement” or post-judgment interest for the patents-in-suit that expired prior to the filing of the SAC.
WWE also states in the countersuit that SITO is damaging them by “filing a lawsuit without valid claims” of patent infringement:
There is an actual, substantial, and continuing justiciable controversy between WWE and SITO regarding the infringement of any valid and enforceable claims of the patentsin-suit, and of the validity of the claims of the patents-in-suit.
Furthermore, WWE went on to deny each individual claim from SITO, stating that they do not perform or transmit data that’s in patent violation. WWE has also has requested a jury trial.
The report from PWInsider noted that WWE asked the courts that SITO be responsible for WWE’s costs and “reasonable” attorney’s fees.