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AT&T and Dish Sued by Hawaiian IP Company

(Image credit: Robert Daly/Getty Images)

A mysterious Honolulu-based IP company with a history in developing video-on-demand technology has re-emerged to sue AT&T and Dish Network over four streaming media patents released to pay TV set-tops and related mobile apps. 

Founded in 2001, and shuttered as a company that actually makes things in 2006, BBiTV said it still controls more than 60 U.S. patents, all based on the work of its chief technology officer, Milton Diaz. Represented by the law firm Feinberg Day Kramer Alberti Lim Tonkovich & Belloli LLP, BBiTV has filed three lawsuits in a Waco, Texas federal court, alleging that AT&T’s U-verse and DirecTV platforms, and Dish Network’s satellite TV service, have each violated four of its patents “specifically related to VOD services using set top box and mobile app technology.”

Included on the list for all three lawsuits is U.S. Patent No. 9,998,791, "Video-on-demand content delivery method for providing video-on-demand services to TV service subscribers," which was issued in June, 2018.

“Milton’s inventions have transformed the way millions of consumers around the world watch TV, movies and other content. At its core, streaming media technology as we know and love it comes from BBiTV,” said Clifton Kagawa, CEO of BBiTV, in a statement announcing the U-verse suit. “The use of these patented technologies without a license is not acceptable.”

In the “about” segment of its press release, BBiTV said it launched two “critical, first-to-market” development projects,” including an interactive community channel, and a web-based platform for “enabling direct-to-television video publishing.” The company said it also partnered with the erstwhile Time Warner Cable to establish the nation’s first interactive cable channel.

Reps for AT&T and Dish have yet to respond to MCN’s inquires for comment.