Beneficial Innovations, Inc. is suing a bunch of media companies and publishers over their alleged infringement upon two patents its owns.
Among the companies are: Amazon, Demand Media, Advance Publications (which owns Conde Nast magazines and several newspapers), AML media (which owns The American Lawyer magazine group and several newspapers), American Media (which owns Playboy and other publications), Rodale (which owns Men's Health and other magazines), Scripps Interactive (which owns Food Network and HGTV), and Viacom.
The patents in question are for "Method and System for Playing Games on a Network" and "Networking Sysgtem for Presenting Advertising".
The introduction of the complaint says:
Defendants (a) have used and continue to use Plaintiff‟s patented technology in products that they make, use, import, sell, and offer to sell, and (b) have contributed to or induced, and continue to contribute to or induce, others to infringe the Patents. Beneficial Innovations seeks damages for patent infringement and an injunction preventing Defendants from making, using, selling, or offering to sell, and from contributing to and inducing others to make, use, sell, or offer to sell, the technology claimed by the Patents without Plaintiff‟s permission.
Evidently Beneficial Innovations doesn't want anyone else to benefit from its innovations.
Of course the merit of the suit and the patents themselves is being heavily question. Mike Masnick at TechDirt (who has provided the above embed of the complaint, says "It really makes you wonder what sorts of examiners they employ at the USPTO that crap patents like this get approved in the first place."
The list of "infringing" sites is much larger than the list of defendants, by the way. They include: sportingnews.com, bizjournals.com, vogue.com, glamour.com, allure.com, gq.com, details.com, brides.com, golfdigest.com, vanityfair.com, wired.com, arstechnica.com, reddit.com, newyorker.com, law.com, dell.com, amazon.com, playboy.com, expedia.com, hotels.com, hotwire.com, tripadvisor.com, southparkstudios.com, mtv.com, rhapsody.com, nick.com, spike.com, comedycentral.com, bet.com, cmt.com, villagevoice.com, and ehow.com. That's just to name a few. You can see the entire list in the embed.