Move Gets Streaming Patent; Are Adobe & Apple Hosed?

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Move Networks just got a lot more valuable on the intellectual property front, as it has just been granted a patent for its HTTP-based adaptive streaming technology. The awarding of the patent also means that it could pose a threat to Adobe, Microsoft, Apple and many other companies that have rolled out adaptive streaming technology of their own.

Move Networks was an early proponent of HTTP-based adaptive streaming technology for delivery of video streams that adjust to the amount of bandwidth that is available to the end user. Since the introduction of Move’s technology and the filing of the patent in question, a number of video providers have followed its example with similar technology of their own.

According to a Move Networks press release,

“The seminal patent covers the encoding and use of multiple bit rate ‘streamlets’ with the same time index; such that the aggregate set of streamlets, stored on standard web servers, independently yield playback of the original full length video. This is accomplished through intelligent requests of successive unique optimal streamlets sent by a client device.”

In the press release, Move founder Drew Major even explicitly names multiple video companies that have deployed technology similar to that which Move Networks received the patent for. Major is quoted as saying that Akamai, Apple, Adobe, Limelight, Microsoft, Netflix and Widevine all now use adaptive bit rate streaming that was “inspired” by Move’s invention.

But when asked whether Move would look to sue companies that have rolled out copycat implementations of adaptive streaming technology, or even perhaps license the IP to them, a Move spokesperson deferred to comment.

“We consider this an affirmation of the hard work that went into Move before the company was founded. This is a very recent development, so what this means for the business going forward is part of a broader discussion that hasn’t happened yet,” the spokesperson said. He also said that this patent is one of 17 patent applications that have been filed by Move, and there are a lot to follow. “This is an innovative technology company that has built unique IP and there is more to come,” he said.

Image courtesy of Flickr user cytech.

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