Back in 2017, as former internet-giant Yahoo was preparing for its sale to telco Verizon, it emerged that the company had a collection of around 4,000 patents valued at around $740m, which had been transferred to a company called Excalibur IP. Nearly two years on, that company is coming after the largest music-streaming subscription service.
Excalibur IP has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Spotify alleging infringement of several patents issued between 2008 and 2013 including: ‘Comparison of data signals using characteristic electronic thumbprints extracted therefrom’; ‘Online playback system with community bias’; and ‘Relationship discovery engine’. In other words, analysing a catalogue of music and delivering personalised streams / recommendations: technology that’s at the heart of Spotify’s service. Although also bear in mind that in the streaming service’s case, this technology came with the acquisition of The Echo Nest in 2014, with that company having been working on it since 2005. Spotify has yet to comment on the lawsuit.