The suit was filed in the Northern District of Indiana on March 2. Westwood One claims Local Radio Networks infringed on patent numbers 7,860,448 (Methods and Computer Programs for Localizing Broadcast Content) and 7,412,203 (Systems, Methods and Apparatus for Operating a Broadcast Network).
Westwood One alleges that LRN is infringing on patent ‘448’ “by making, using, selling, offering for sale, and/or importing its Radio Velocity Control computer hardware and software technology.” The suit goes on to say that the LRN Program “is a system that comprises several components: a Voice Tracker tool, an LRN Portal, a server, and a cloud storage site, each with its own code. Westwood says the infringing LRN Program comprises a material part of the claimed invention of the ’448 Patent.
Westwood claims LRN knew about the alleged infringement to 448 since May of 2020 when they were sent a cease and desist letter. However, “LRN hired several former Westwood executives who had knowledge of the patents in the lawsuit and those former employees are using their knowledge of the program to steal affiliates. .
“LRN’s employees Chris Reeves, Jonathon Steele, Chris Hatton, Matt Caldaronello and Patrick Crocker, are all former Westwood employees. These employees have knowledge of the workings of Westwood’s patented program. Furthermore, these employees are presently attempting to use this knowledge to lure customers away from Westwood by informing customers in the market that the LRN program is comparable. Such acts constitute willful and deliberate infringement, entitling Westwood to enhanced damages and attorney’s fees.”
Similar claims are made regarding the second patent. Westwood One is claiming the LRN software program that tells customers it delivers maximum custom localization and station owner control is infringing on Westwood’s 203 patent.