Popular video conferencing platform Zoom has been hit with lawsuit alleging it of patent infringement around its cloud storage practices for recorded content.
Specifically, Zoom is accused of running afoul of patent law because it enables users to record meetings, save the video to cloud storage, and then download the content later.
The suit has been filed by Rothschild Broadcast Distribution Systems, which filed the patent (US Patent No. 8,856,221) in 2011—long after the technology for storing multimedia content in the cloud and distributing it on demand had been developed. The company has so far filed more than 25 suits against companies including Disney and World Wrestling Entertainment.
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Rothschild is seeking both an award for damages as well as a court order halting Zoom from continuing to infringe on its patent for cloud storage and distribution.
The company is based in the East District of Texas, which is a favorite jurisdiction for so-called patent trolls because of its favorable legal protections for plaintiffs.
The lawsuit, filed in the District of Colorado, puts Zoom in a difficult position. On the one hand, it is highly unlikely that Rothschild could win if the lawsuit was challenged in court. The Supreme Court has ruled that abstract ideas are not eligible to be patented if they simply move existing technology onto a computer.
In a similar lawsuit that Rothschild filed concerning the same patent, the company dismissed its claim as soon as the defendant in that case challenged the suit.
However, challenging the lawsuit is likely more costly for Zoom than simply settling with Rothschild out of court. It remains unclear how much such a settlement could cost, since the company has not disclosed previous agreements with those it has sued. Whether Zoom decides to stand its ground or make the lawsuit disappear quickly, the whole affair is likely to be expensive.
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