Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Acacia Hits the Universities (It Just Keeps Getting Better With These Guys): The Maryland attorney general's office is investigating claims by a California technology company that several of the state's colleges and universities have infringed upon its patents by using the Internet to transmit video and audio."We're trying to review the situation and make some strategic decisions," Assistant Attorney General Thomas Faulk said yesterday. "We are first trying to determine whether or not we think there's any viability to the claim."

But even if the allegations are false, college officials say they might have no choice but to pay a fee for the technology, fearing the alternative is to go to court, which could cost millions of dollars in legal fees.A division of Acacia Research Corp., based in Newport Beach, recently sent letters to dozens of higher education institutions across the country. Among them were Washington College in Chestertown, the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

The company claimed that schools using a form of streaming video or audio for online lectures or to transmit course material over the Internet were violating Acacia's patents on the technology if they weren't paying the company for that privilege.

Un - - - - - believable . . .

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