Thursday, June 25, 2009

Studios: Withheld patent applications contradict RealNetworks' position in RealDVD case

It's been over a month since the preliminary injunction hearing in the studios' case against RealNetworks over the "RealDVD" ripper, and still no decision from Judge Marilyn Hall Patel. But, as Greg Sandoval reports in CNET, the attorneys are still hard at work, and yesterday filed some very interesting papers that appear to directly contradict Real's litigation positions regarding ripping software known as ARccOS and RipGuard:

The Motion Picture Association of America has accused Real of misleading the court about the company's attempts to circumvent ARccOS and RipGuard and whether the technologies are actually copy protection measures.

Despite arguing the contrary in court, Real wrote in patent applications filed with the Patent and Trademark Office in 2007 and 2008, that the two software were indeed copy protections, MPAA alleges. Those applications were published by the patent office two weeks ago.


"Real and its witnesses have told the court that ARccOS and RipGuard are not copy protection technologies and that Real's engineers did not know how ARccOS and RipGuard worked," wrote MPAA lawyers in documents filed with U.S. District Court in San Francisco. "Yet Real simultaneously has told the PTO that RipGuard' and ArccOS are 'copy protection mechanisms' and then described specific techniques used by ARccOS and RipGuard."

The MPAA attorneys also said "Real has told the court, through witnesses and proposed findings, that ARccOS and RipGuard can only delay but cannot prevent a 'linear copy' of DVDs. But Real is insisting to the (patent office) that ARccOS and RipGuard can 'cause an archiving process to fail' or 'never complete'--exactly contrary to its representations to this court.

Studios request for judicial notice re patents applications

And for any true geeks, here are the patent applications themselves.

One interesting side note: Real's attorneys offered to stipulate to the admission into evidence of the patent applications -- but only if the studios refrained from accompanying them with any briefing explaining their significance. I wonder why...

UPDATE: Real has given a statement to Video Business:
The studios' motion is nothing more than a regurgitated argument of the same issues that have already been submitted to the court for decision, this time using misleading sound bites from patent applications of which the studios admit they have long been aware.... Hollywood is once again trying to use a sleight of hand to distract the court and the press from the real issue in this case: whether the studios should be allowed to take away consumers’ fair use rights only to sell it back to them.
Lots of rhetoric; zero substantive response to the studios' motion.

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