Acacia accelerates lawsuits against cable television

Acacia Research, the company that claims to have broad patent rights to on-demand streaming-media technology, has sued a second round of cable companies for patent infringement.

The LA-based company has already filed suit against most of the largest cable TV and satellite companies in the United States, including Comcast, Cox Communications and DIRECTV, charging that their video-on-demand programming and a handful of other services violate its patent rights.

The new round of suits, filed in early September, targeted 20 small cable companies, mostly in Arizona, Minnesota and Ohio. Acacia also added Mediacom Communications to its previous cable-focused lawsuit in Northern California, CNET reported.

Acacia said its patents cover virtually all instances of video or audio being compressed and streamed across a network on demand. That includes most non-live Web video or audio, as well as cable and satellite television, hotel video networks and Webcasts on college and corporate networks.

Several large companies, including Disney, have already settled with the company, which has signed 175 license agreements. Comcast has been the largest company to say it is contesting Acacia’s claims.

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