Patent Scare Hits Streaming Industry:

A patent claim with profound implications for the online content industry. A company called Acacia Media Technologies is claiming patents on the process of transmitting compressed audio or video online, one of the most basic multimedia technologies on the Net. The company says it holds sweeping patents likely to cover the activities of a huge swath of Internet multimedia companies, ranging from Microsoft to America Online. They could even cover pay-per-view movies on cable TV and in hotel rooms. On Wednesday, the company signed up its latest licensee, Mexican satellite telecommunications company Grupo Pegaso. Read it to believe it.