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Most things become so unremarkable through frequent use that we begin to take them for granted. Take for instance media synchronization, a trivial task that most of you probably perform across your panoply of devices several times a day with your eyes shut. But I am sure most of you don't even know something as rudimentary as the name of the company that owns the patent for the intricate technology behind it. Any guesses? In any case, the correct answer is media server maker ReQuest. The New York-based firm is running a campaign to educate media companies about one of its most precious intellectual properties: couple of patents (No. 7,577,757 and 7,136,934) that broadly cover all that there is to multimedia synchronization.
According to CNET, ReQuest is busy sending missives to various online entertainment outlets to inform them that it owns the patent for media syncing. The tech site claims to be in possession of a copy of the letter that has already been delivered to a number of companies. The letter focuses on a proprietary ReQuest technology called NetSync and describes it as "a system for synchronizing devices in a multimedia environment.”
Back in 2007, the company issued a press release to announce that it had secured the “patent for music, photo, and video synchronization.” It also stressed the fact that it had filed the patent several months before the first iPod became available in late 2001.
This is how it described the technology back then: “NetSync is ReQuest’s proprietary, key enabling technology that allows its music servers and other audio-video component designs to share and exchange audio-video entertainment, setup and operations data, and to interact under the control of external “clients” including personal computers and personal wireless devices.”
Though CNET's source accused ReQuest of making concealed threats of legal action in the letter, the company's CEO Peter Cholnoky denied the same in a phone interview with the tech site. As per Cholnoky, his company only intends “to open up the patents to the market, especially as the patent market has heated up."
"Google just offered to pay $900 million for (6,000 patents belonging to Nortel, the bankrupt Canadian telecom-equipment company). Nortel is auctioning them off. So, companies like Google are interested in acquiring patents and I sent the letters to people who might have some interest...we've received lots of calls," Cholnoky told CNET.