Friskit Inc v Real Networks Inc

Name: Friskit, Inc. v RealNetworks,Inc.

306 Fed. Appx. 610

Facts: Friskit, Inc. owns several patents used for the search, retrieval, and playback of multimedia files from a computer network like the internet. Their patents disclose a system for delivering media content where a server enables a search for network-accessible media files, creates a playlist from the results and causes a media player to platy the results sequentially. Real Networks, Inc. is a digital media software developer that also offers subscriptions to online databases of digital music and video files. Friskit alleges that Real is infringing on its patents. Friskit argues that four claims in its patents were not obvious in light of the prior art. Friskit argues that the claims for programmatic control, direct control, and an integrated client module which controlled the media player and included a user interface were absent from prior art.

Procedure: Friskit, the plaintiff patent owner, sought a review of a decision of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which had granted a renewed motion for summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Real Networks, because it found the claims in the owner’s patents to be obvious.

Issue: Considering the technology and prior art of the Winamp mini-browser and IUMA Radio patents, does Friskit’s addition to server-side search, retrieval, and play-back of multimedia files under its definition of “programmatic control” save its patent’s from being deemed obvious?

Holding: NO. The district court decision was affirmed.

Reasoning: The court found insignificant differences between the prior art media players and the claims in Friskit’s patents and that it would have been obvious to someone of ordinary skill in the art. Even under Friskit’s definition of “programmatic control,” it still does not pass muster. Friskit admits it did not invent streaming media, playlists, or media players, but claims its patents are “the glue to put the existing technologies together in a single application.” The court disagrees.

Rule of Law: The Supreme Court is KSR held that the “predictable use of prior art elements according to their established functions” is likely to be within the grasp of one of ordinary skill in the art.

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