EchoStar's Sling Media Sues Two Companies for Patent Infringement

Sling Media, a subsidiary of EchoStar, filed a lawsuit against two companies -- Belkin International and Monsoon Multimedia -- alleging they infringe five patents related to place-shifting TV signals.

A Belkin spokeswoman declined to comment. Monsoon Multimedia representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sling Media filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. It alleges that products sold by Belkin and Monsoon Multimedia infringe proprietary technology used in the Slingbox product family.

EchoStar Communications acquired Sling Media in 2007 for cash and stock options worth $380 million. EchoStar Communications split into two separate companies -- Dish Network and EchoStar Corp. -- in 2008.

In its complaint, Sling Media alleges the companies infringe U.S. Patent Nos.: 7,725,912 ("Method for Implementing a Remote Display System with Transcoding"); 7,877,776 ("Personal Media Broadcasting System"); 8,051,454 ("Personal Media Broadcasting System with Output Buffer"); 8,060,909 ("Personal Media Broadcasting System"); and 8,266,657 ("Method for Effectively Implementing a Multi-Room Television System.")

On Monday, Dish announced the Hopper with Sling, the second generation of its multiroom DVR that incorporates the Slingbox place-shifting technology to let subscribers access live and recorded TV over the Internet on a range of devices.

Sling Media launched the first Slingbox in 2005. The company last year introduced a revamped line of Slingbox models, the 350 and 500, which deliver full 1080p HD.