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Virgin Megastore Hit With Patent Infringement Lawsuit

5 Jan, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

Software development company NeoMedia Technologies Inc. has filed a lawsuit alleging Virgin Entertainment Group Inc., Virgin Megastore Online and Virgin Megastore are infringing on NeoMedia's patents to technology that drives the chain's listening and viewing stations.

A spokeswoman for Virgin had no immediate comment on the suit.

The complaint for patent infringement and damages was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, by Baniak Pine & Gannon, a Chicago intellectual property law firm. The complaint alleges Virgin has infringed four of NeoMedia's patents: U.S. Patents Nos. 5,933,829, 5,978,773, 6,108,656, and 6,199,048.

NeoMedia claims the Virgin Megaplay stations in Virgin Megastores infringe NeoMedia's patents by using Virgin's Megascan technology to let customers scan UPC codes from in-store CDs and DVDs to access Internet-based product information, such as music and movie previews, and album and video art.

The complaint also alleges Virgin has been on notice for months that it was allegedly violating NeoMedia's patents and has not taken steps to stop.

The complaint seeks compensatory damages, with those damages to be trebled due to the willful and wanton nature of the infringement of NeoMedia prevails. NeoMedia also seeks a court order to stop Virgin's alleged infringement.

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