Westwood One 2018

In early March, Westwood One sued Local Radio Networks for allegedly infringing on a pair of patents it has held for more than a decade. The Cumulus Media-owned network claimed it’s been “irreparably damaged” by the infringing activities and wants at least “a reasonable royalty” from the defendants. On Monday, LRN filed its response to the suit, denying virtually all of the infringement claims made by Westwood One.

The word “denied” is repeated 39 times in LRN’s 25-page filing.

“Defendant denies that Plaintiff is entitled to any of the relief requested in its Prayer for Relief, or any other relief,” LRN’s lawyers say in their response filed in U.S. District Court in Ft. Wayne. “Defendant has not directly or indirectly infringed any valid and enforceable claim of the Patents in Suit under any theory, either literally or under doctrine of equivalents.”

LRN has asked the court to deny WWO’s requests in their entirety and with prejudice, which would mean that the suit couldn’t be tried again.

Indiana-based LRN provides 24/7 music formats to affiliates and is distributed by Skyview Networks, which is not named in the suit.

The complaint accuses LRN of infringing on the WWO patent for broadcast automation software and hardware. Specifically it alleges that LRN’s Radio Velocity Control hardware and software infringe on WWO-patented technology that allows it to record different content for different affiliates and then transmit it to the individual affiliates they are intended for.

While LRN admits that it does have a technology called Radio Velocity Control, it “denies that it has directly infringed and that it continues to directly infringe” on WWO’s Patent No. 7,860,448 (Methods and Computer Programs for Localizing Broadcast Content).

It also denies WWO’s claim that the components of its LRN Program named in the suit, namely, Voice Tracker tool, an LRN Portal, a server, and a cloud storage site, when taken together satisfy the limitations imposed by Claim 1 of the WWO patent.

It denies other statements made by WWO about how the LRN Program works in receiving and transmitting localized content and how it is used for voicetracking.

In its suit, WWO says it sent cease and desist letters to LRN in May 2020. LRN counters by admitting that it did hear from WWO’s lawyers starting around that time while repeating that it hasn’t infringed “willfully or otherwise” on the patent.

And while LRN acknowledges it employs former WWO employees Chris Reeves, Jonathon Steele, Chris Hatton, Matt Caldaronello and Patrick Crocker, it denies the suit’s claim that they are “presently attempting to use their knowledge of the workings of Westwood’s patented program to lure customers away from Westwood by informing customers in the market that the LRN Program is comparable.”

LRN also denies that it has infringed on WWO’s Patent No. 7,412,203 (Systems, Methods and Apparatus for Operating a Broadcast Network).

Among six Affirmative Defenses, LRN claims that WWO’s suit fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. And it suggests that one or more claims to the WWO’s patents are invalid for not complying with U.S. Code, along with other legal arguments.

LRN filed its response Monday May, 3, two months after the WWO suit was filed.