Youtube, Ad Overlays, and Willful Infringement.

Apparently, Youtube is using ad technology invented by Video Egg.

But it is surprising that YouTube failed to give even a passing mention to the company that invented the unit. VideoEgg also claims to have a patent application on this – something YouTube will certainly have to deal with down the road.

Really? You think? Isn’t Arrington a lawyer? It’s called treble damages or willful infringement:

Treble damages, in law, is a term that indicates that a statute permits a court to triple the amount of the actual/compensatory damages to be awarded to a prevailing plaintiff, generally in order to punish the losing party for willful conduct. The ability to award treble damages is a typical feature in legislation that recognizes the potentially willful nature of the prohibited acts. For example, such damages may be awarded by a court in the United States for willful violation of the antitrust laws, for willful infringement of a patent, for trademark counterfeiting, and under the RICO statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c). The idea behind the creation of such damages, also called exemplary damages, is that they will encourage citizens to sue for violations that are harmful to society in general.

So basically if Youtube admits that they stole the technology they’re in even deeper and hotter water.

  1. I’m not sure how easily VideoEgg will be able to succeed on the merits of an originality argument in their patent application — it would seem pretty easy to point to every ad bug on television ever as prior art.

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