OTT is the acronym for “Over the Top.” There has been significant increase in sales of, and applications for, OTT products and services. So, naturally, there has also been significant activity in patents covering different aspects of Over-the-Top technology. OTT is past the stage of being an emerging technology. It is here, and it is affecting our lives each and every day, so OTT patents are hot!
OTT or Over the Top is the delivery of video or audio content over the Internet using a multiple-system operator to control or distribute the content. The term “over the top” refers to how it bypasses conventional channels for the distribution of video and audio content, and goes over the top of all the conventional services. OTT is not pay television or video-on-demand, but content provided by a third party in IP packets. Over-the-Top messaging provides instant messaging as an alternative to the text messaging services provided by the cell phone network operators. WhatsApp and Skype are OTT providers. Telecomm industry analyst Dean Bubley is generally credited with coming up with the term way back in 2011.
How hot are Over the Top Patents? Disney just signed an agreement to license the portfolio of the Kudelski Group, many of which are OTT-related patents. In 2015, Akamai paid a pretty penny ($107 million, to be exact) to acquire Codemate so it could acquire the Over the Top patent portfolio of its subsidiary, Octoshape!
Among the interesting OTT patents assigned to aoiTV is U.S. Patent No. 8,869,207 for a “Method and System for Delivering Video Content from Multiple Platforms to Subscribers.” Among the patents that Akamai acquired from Octoshape is U.S. Patent No. 7,865,811 for a “Distribution Method, Preferably Applied in a Streaming System.”