Spotify Sued for Patent Infringement over Core Streaming Service

On November 1, B# On Demand LLC filed a complaint against Spotify Technology S.A., Spotify AB, and Spotify USA (B# On Demand LLC v. Spotify Technology S.A. et al 1:19-cv-02077) in Delaware federal court for patent infringement on six patents. The patents US7877412B2 (the “’412 Patent”); US8832149B2 (the “’149 Patent”); US9031985B2 (the “’985 Patent”); US9330242B2 (the “’242 Patent”); US9553880B2 (the “’880 Patent”); and US9900323 (the “’323 Patent”) were all originally held by Dr. Gregg S. Homer, the inventor.

While not explicitly mentioned in the complaint, the six exhibited patents in order of exhibit are for the following: Rechargeable Media Distribution and Play System, Method for Subscription Media On-Demand, More Subscription Media On Demand, Even More Subscription Media On Demand, Subscription Media On Demand VII, and Subscription Media On Demand VIII (Offline Mode). There is no known purpose or activity of B# On Demand LLC other than owning these patents and suing Spotify.  

The complaint establishes Dr. Homer’s credentials as an inventor (amongst other achievements) by enumerating other inventions he has patented. The complaint also explains the history of digital music consumption in order to establish the mindset of the inventor at the time of conception for the inventions covered by the patents. The complaint claims “Dr. Homer conceived of the inventions claimed in the Patents-in-Suit by early 1999 at latest.” The complaint alleges that he solved many problems in “an ’all-you-can-eat’ subscription system”, implying his concepts and methods are necessary for the current way Spotify functions. It also discloses professional interactions in or about 2000 between Dr. Homer and unnamed executives at major record companies like Universal Music Group, in which Dr. Homer attempted to get licenses to music files from these companies who refused his offer, stating a lack of faith in the subscription-on-demand system he described. The complaint further alleges that some of these same companies have since become equity stakeholders in one or more of the Spotify entities named in this complaint.

B# On Demand is seeking recovery of damages for Spotify’s infringement of all Patents-in-Suit, as well as enhanced damages and attorneys’ fees and costs for the defendants “willful and deliberate” infringement on the Plaintiff’s patents. Plaintiff also seeks both a preliminary and permanent injunction for any activity by Spotify that infringes on the Patents-in-Suit.  B# On Demand is represented by Farnan.