Spotify, SoundCloud, and Deezer are reportedly in some legal trouble…
MOAEC Technologies has officially filed three separate suits, on alleged grounds of patent infringement by these leading music streaming platforms. U.S. Patent No. 6232539, titled “Music Organizer and Entertainment Center,” is referenced in each suit filed by the tech company based out of Miami, Florida.
The patent covers the following: “a storage device for storing compressed data defining a plurality of individual music selections and associated category flags; a processor retrieving selections and associated category flags from the storage device based upon user selections; a data decompressor translating compressed data into playable digital music data; a network interface receiving the compressed data from a remote source over a network for download into the storage device; and a graphical user interface display having a plurality of selectable screens, at least one of the screens having a plurality of category buttons which can be activated to display a list of music selections having category flags matching a button’s predetermined category.”
Yeah, that’s a lot of info. Let’s break it down a bit…
The patent’s lead investor, Brian Looney was just your typical DJ working on building his music library when he found he “needed a way to access any music on hand, instantly, after being provided only a minimum of helpful information.”
His music library, as it grew throughout the ’80s and ’90s, needed to adapt to all sorts of file formats. He also needed to be able to access the music quickly and efficiently. The “Music Organizer and Entertainment Center” he came up with was capable of organizing, generating results, and users were able to create their own playlists with the system.
MOAEC reportedly made each defendant aware of the patent in October 2016. Now, the company is seeking damages for direct infringement of the various claims, which cover user interface, making music selections, compressing files for playback, and more.
Deezer, the first major streaming platform to respond, denies any infringement. Furthermore, the company insists many of the claims should be deemed unpatentable.
We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.