Tuesday, April 25, 2006
RealNetworks announced yesterday that it has received a fundamental patent for streaming media technology and applications. The "Click-to-Stream"patent covers innovations going back to November 30, 1994, more than four months before Real introduced RealAudio. It also covers the core methods used when consumers select links to stream audio-visual media via webbrowsers and other media players.
Click-to-Stream joins a portfolio of over 35 patents related to the world of Internet media delivery. Real has more than 100 additional patent applications pending relating to digital media technology and services and continues to lead the paid content market - with more than 2.25 million paying subscribers for premium services as of the end of 2005.
"The "Click-to-Stream" patent covers the core methods used when an end user selects a digital media asset (audio and accompanying video or other metadata) to be played, causing digital packets of the selected digital media to be transmitted over an Internet Protocol network and received by the end user's playback device when playback begins prior to delivery of the entire digital media asset to the consumer's device. The patent applies whether the digital media is played back on a personal computer, mobilephone, or other hardware device. The patented "Click-to-Stream" method is most commonly initiated when an end user accesses media links from web browser pages, embedded multimedia advertising, and links managed by network- enabled software media players."Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks stated "This fundamental new patent recognizes our breakthrough innovation, and provides Real with an exciting opportunity to expand the Helix Community's role as the centerpiece of the digital media marketplace."