Kojicast LLC has sued Funimation Productions over their FunimationNow streaming service being a patent infringement on their ‘683 Patent. The lawsuit was filed back on April 24th, 2019, but it hasn’t been wildly spread around the net until some Twitter users caught wind of it.
Super Girl tweeted out the PDF on May 12th, 2019 for the suit from Kojicast against Funimation set in the eastern district of Texas.
Funimation is being sued x 2 ! https://t.co/Flb23isWd1
— Super Girl (@Imsupergirl11) May 13, 2019
In the suit it alleges that Funimation used the ‘683 Patent in their FunimationNow streaming technology that allows users to stream Funimation content from their mobile device and then pick up and resume that content on additional devices, such as home computers or smart TVs.
This feature was advertised in the FunimationNow ad that’s currently available on YouTube. It was originally published back on March 9th, 2019.
It’s only 22 seconds long, and the relevant part is at the 16 second mark, where it advertises episode progress syncing across devices, so you can play or watch the content across multiple devices.
The lawsuit alleges that Funimation is using the ‘683 Patent that was prioritized by the USPTO back in 2012. The patent described technologies that allow users to stream content and – without restarting the content or break from the stream position – pick-up and resume where they left off on another device.
As stated in the lawsuit…
“Defendant has marketed its video delivery platform under its brand name “FunimationNow,” as well as possibly other brand names. The following is a discussion of the accused FunimationNow system. The FunimationNow system has apps for mobile communication devices, including an app for Apple IOS operating systems and an app for Android operating systems. The FunimationNow app supports casting features, enabling a user to watch a selected media content item on the mobile communication device or “casted” to one or more media playback devices.”
The patent infringement relief asks for Funimation to pay damages that Kojicast suffered as a result of the ‘683 Patent infringement. It also asks to have Funimation pay for Kojicast’s costs, attorney fees, expenses, and interests, in addition to “further relief” as deemed just by the courts. They also want a trial by jury.
This bit of news is already catching fire in the #IstandWithVic communities because this is yet another lawsuit that Funimation will have to battle in court, in addition to having to deal with the $1 million suit that voice actor Vic Mignogna filed against them for tortious interference when he was fired earlier in the year for what appeared to be spurious allegations of misconduct.
The animation distributor is now fighting two legal battles and neither seem to look like they appear to favor Funimation.
[Update:] Take note that there are some reports that Kojicast is a patent troll. Back on December 10th, 2018 TechRights reported that there were firms offering $1,000 to “intercept” Kojicast from utilizing a “weaponized patent”. Whether or not this will play any part in how the Funimation case unfolds remains to be seen.
(Thanks for the news tip Ebicentre, SenpaisntHome and giygas)