Tuesday, July 5, 2011

BitTorrent sued for patent infringement

TorrentFreak reports that BitTorrent has been sued for patent infringement:
Tranz-Send Broadcasting Network filed a complaint at the court this week where it alleges that BitTorrent is infringing on a patent originally filed in April 1999. The company claims to have suffered significant losses and wants to be compensated for the ongoing patent infringement.

“By making, operating, using and/or selling [uTorrent and BitTorrent Mainline] and or other software, BitTorrent has infringed and continues to infringe, contribute to the infringement, or induce the infringement of at least claim 1 of the ’944 patent,” the complaint reads.

The patent in question is titled “Media file distribution with adaptive transmission protocols” and was granted in November 2007. It describes a file-sharing system consisting of a file database, a transfer client and a distribution server.
The "944" patent refers to patent 7,301,944 which covers "Media file distribution with adaptive transmission protocols". Tranz-Send alleges BitTorrent infringes on "at least claim 1" of the "944" patent, which is here:
1. A media distribution system, comprising: a media file database configured to store media files, wherein one or more of the media files have been compressed prior to storage in the media file database; a computing device configured to receive user requests for delivery of the one or more of the media files stored in the media file database, the computing device further configured to: identify average network throughput between computing device and the requesting users; and route the user requests for delivery of the requested one or more media files to a distribution server capable of servicing the user requests based upon at least the average network throughput; and a distribution server coupled to the media file database, the distribution server configured to simultaneously deliver a single copy of the requested one or more of the media files identified in the routed user requests to the requesting users in less-than-real-time, wherein the distribution server automatically adjusts delivery of the requested one or more media files to the requesting users based on current average network throughput between the distribution server and the requesting users.

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