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Marion Start-up in Major Broadcast Lawsuit

Cedar Rapids, Ia. (Des Moines Register) A Marion-based technology startup has been dragged into a high-profile lawsuit that involves some of the broadcast industrys heaviest hitters.

Jack Perry, CEO of the live stream-to-mobile television service Syncbak, was in a Cedar Rapids federal court this morning hoping to dismiss calls by New York-based Aereo for documents related to a recent investment by CBS in Syncbak.

Judge Jon Scoles said he would likely rule on the case within a month or so.

Aereo was sued in March 2012 by a consortium of broadcast companies, including CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox, for what the networks say is copyright infringement. Aereo captures and reformats over-the-air signals to make them compatible with Internet-enabled devices like smartphones and tablets.

Lower appellate courts have sided with Aereo thus far and experts believe the case could eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court. As part of preliminary stages of the case, however, Aereo sought documents from Syncbak related to the CBS investment and negotiations, Syncbaks technology and any references to Aereo, its technology or its CEO.

Syncbak attorneys argued Tuesday that most of that information was publicly available through patent filings or press releases. In addition, they said the information was irrelevant to the larger lawsuit.

On his way out of court, Aereo attorney Thomas Lane did not comment on the case.

 
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