There was indeed a bit of confusion early in the week over exactly who had put the screws to Bodog, seizing control of the bodog.com domain as a result of sa default judgment issued back at the start of the month. Early reports suggested that is was Home Gambling Network's head honcho, Mel Molnick, though indeed those reports were in error.
The correct man behind the action was Scott Lewis, the prez of First Technology, and the patent in question that Bodog was default-judged as violating is U.S. Patent #5,564,001, which reads as follows:
Method and system for interactively transmitting multimedia information over a network which requires a reduced bandwidth
A system and device is provided that enhances the interactivity of multimedia information across a communications network or in combination with other networks including telecommunication and cable broadcasting. The system includes an interactive multimedia mastering (IMM) system for receiving multimedia program materials from a program source, a multimedia call processing system (MCPS) coupled to the IMM, and a plurality of interactive multimedia devices (IMDs) for distributing multimedia information to users. The IMM optimizes the program materials by separating the information into primary and secondary layers using psychographic parameters to differentiate between important and less important multimedia information, and then compresses at least a portion of the layers for transmission to the MCPS. The IMDs accept user commands for multimedia information from a telephone, which cause the IMD to transmit a control signal to the MCPS. The MCPS receives the control signal while in a voice mode, and in response, branches to a program branch in the optimized program materials indicated by the control signal. The MCPS switches to a data mode for transmitting data from the indicated program branch back to the requesting IMD, and then switches back to the voice mode to accept further control signals from the IMD. Once the IMD receives the materials, the IMD decompresses any compressed portions and mixes the decompressed portions with the uncompressed portions to provide enhanced interactive multimedia information to the user.
Inventors: Lewis; Scott W. (Saratoga, CA)
I can't make heads or tails of it, frankly, and supporting documents from the lawsuit (available at majorwager.com) don't fully explain it, either.
As to the original confusion over who was behind the suit, apparently Bodog itself had no idea, which then propogated through all of the early reports. This suggests that the process that was served on Bodog's Costa Rica office was summarily chucked into a round file by a lawyerly type who wrongly believed that since the case was filed in the U.S., Bodog was absolutely out of reach. Chances are that lawyer's anal orifice is probably large enough to house a sarlacc these days, too....