Aereo CEO & CTO Ordered By Judge To Explain Patents

Chet Kanojia really didn’t want to sit down to answer apparent contradictions about Aereo‘s patent applications, but today a federal judge ruled that’s what the streaming service CEO and CTO Joseph Lipowski are going to do. Re-affirming his June 20 order that Aereo hand over Kanojia and Lipowski for another hour of deposition with lawyers from suing broadcasters, Judge Henry Pitman pushed aside a slew of objections from the Barry Diller-backed company’s application for reconsideration and told the duo to make themselves available. As the copyright infringement complaint, which was first filed on March 1, 2012, weaves and grinds towards a 2014 trial start, the broadcasters’ attorneys want to probe the two about what their service really is and what Aereo’s patent applications really are. And the NY-based magistrate suggests that Aereo might have played fast and loose with the truth in a previous court win in their favor. “In opposing plaintiffs’ application for a preliminary injunction, Aereo offered expert testimony suggesting that its internet retransmission capability was not substantially different from what consumers could accomplish with off-the-shelf components,” noted Pitman in his 15-page order (read it here). “In their patent application, however, in an apparent effort to establish novelty, the inventors state that broadcast ‘content is generally only available for display on a traditional television. There is generally no simple way for a user to have this content available to their other video-capable devices.’ Although the two positions are not irreconcilable, there is a certain tension between them sufficient to warrant examination,” the judge added. (more…)

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