In the latest in a series of patent lawsuits revolving around the video game world, streaming application technology provider Stream Theory today filed a lawsuit against Softricity, AppStream and Exent claiming the three companies are infringing on its U.S. patent number 6,453,334.
The lawsuit from Stream Theory, which has a Games on Demand series with more than 55 game publishers licensing over 550 PC titles, filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, seeks damages and an injunction against Softricity, AppStream and Exent for their willful infringement of the patent.
Stream Theory stated the U.S. patent office issued the patent on September 17, 2002. The patent describes "Method and apparatus to allow remotely located computer programs and/or data to be accessed on a local computer in a secure, time-limited manner, with persistent caching." The patent application was originally filed with the U.S. Patent Office on June 16, 1997, and is believed to be the earliest patent in the field of streaming software.
At least one of the other companies named is particularlly notable in games on demand world - Exent recently received investment from both Intel and Cisco, and currently powers games-on-demand services for major providers including Comcast, Turner (GameTap), Verizon, Yahoo and RCN. Appstream and Softricity are likely better known for streaming non-game software applications, which Stream Theory also works to do.