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Dish settles some streaming patent infringement lawsuits

The parent companies of KiDoodle.TV and BeachBody have agreed to license certain adaptive bitrate technology from Dish.

The parent companies of KiDoodle.TV and BeachBody have agreed to license certain adaptive bitrate technology from Dish.

A satellite antenna used by Dish Network. (Photo by Ryan Finnie via Wikimedia Commons)
A satellite antenna used by Dish Network. (Photo by Ryan Finnie via Wikimedia Commons)

Dish Network has settled a handful of lawsuits brought against streaming video providers who allegedly infringed on some of the company’s patents, The Desk has learned.

The satellite and streaming TV company sued BeachBody and KiDoodle.TV owner A Parent Media Company last year, arguing the two media firms infringed on various patents concerning adaptive bitrate technology, which improves or lowers the resolution of video feeds based on a user’s Internet connection and speed.

In both cases, Dish filed a motion to end the lawsuits, and a federal judge approved the request. The motion came after Dish settled the matter with both companies, which include agreements to pay Dish a royalty in exchange for licensing the adaptive bitrate technology, according to a source familiar with the matter. Both companies will be allowed to continue using adaptive bitrate technology for the foreseeable future, the source affirmed.

Legally, the cases were dismissed without prejudice, which means Dish can re-file its lawsuits against either company if they stop making licensing payments or otherwise violate the terms of the settlement. None of the companies involved have made public statements about the settlements, and a spokesperson for Dish did not return an email sent by The Desk earlier this month seeking comment on the matter.

Dish still has pending lawsuits against a handful of other companies, including BritBox, MasterClass parent Yanka Industries and rival pay TV providers Fubo and Vidgo. Dish also has pending lawsuits against M.G. Premium and WebGroup Czech Republic, the operators of some of the largest adult websites in the world. All the lawsuits allege the same infringements of Dish’s adaptive bitrate patents.

The patents are held by a Dish subsidiary called Dish Technologies, which holds patents related to streaming video products and services. Some of those patents — including ones at the center of its infringement lawsuits — were acquired by Dish through the purchase of software development firms more than a decade ago. The patents transferred to Echostar following Dish’s reunion with the satellite communications company in January.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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