Having settled with Belkin back in June, Sling Media’s placeshifting intellectual property was further bolstered today when the International Trade Commission closed out the case against Monsoon Multimedia via a US import and sales ban of products that infringe upon 6 Sling patents.
The Commission has determined that the appropriate form of relief in this investigation is a limited exclusion order prohibiting the unlicensed entry of electronic devices having placeshifting or display replication functionality and products containing the same that are manufactured abroad by or on behalf of, or imported by or on behalf of, the Defaulting Respondents by reason of infringement of one or more of claims [...] The Commission has also determined to issue cease and desist orders directed against Monsoon and C2 Microsystems, which prohibit, inter alia, the importation, sale, advertising, marketing, and distribution of covered products in the United States by the Defaulting Respondents.
Over the years, Monsoon has marketed various streamers including HAVA and Vulkano… that failed to generate the interest and publicity that Slingbox devices have, despite many positive attributes. Having apparently wrapped up their limited retail competition and given Sling’s new alignment with Arris, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Echostar subsidiary turn their attention to the likes of a TiVo or DirecTV that provide similar placeshifting services. As TiVo has proved on multiple occasions, producing the best of something is but a single revenue stream… whereas IP defense is an additional avenue for potential licensing. But they better act fast as software patents may not survive 2014.