Streaming Giant Twitch Faces Lawsuit Over Video Carousel Patents


RazDog Holdings, a company specializing in interactive media software, has filed a lawsuit against Twitch in the Northern District of California’s courts alleging that Twitch’s homepage and tag system infringe on their patents. Let’s delve into the details:

The Crux of RazDog’s Patent Claims

According to the filing documents, RazDog alleges that it developed the software in question during the late 2000s, which enabled users to swipe through content received in real-time from multiple sources via a single sliding interface.

In 2012, following a victory in a Microsoft-sponsored competition, the company secured patents for their “slide tool” (CloudMotion) and “remote tool box” (CloudSource) technologies.

The lawsuit claims that Twitch’s homepage carousel, used for organizing live streams, infringes on RazDog’s “slide tool” patent.

Furthermore, Twitch’s tag and suggested channel systems are purported to infringe on RazDog’s “remote tool box” patent.

How Does RazDog’s Patented Tech Work?

Before the RazDog Patents, computing systems required multiple logins to access or manage content data and services from multiple sources through a single user interface.

But in the late 2000s, RazDog came up with innovative solutions that facilitated swiping and scrolling through streams of content from multiple sources on a single webpage in real-time without an extra plug-in.

These solutions are:

  • CloudMotion” for the swipeable front-end interface
  • CloudSource” for the backend content management

Later in 2012, RazDog secured two patents for this technology renamed Slide Tool and Remote Tool Box respectively:

  • A “slide tool” interface that enabled users to scroll/swipe through aggregated content streams on a master webpage.
  • A “remote tool box” that allowed administrators to control the layout, content feed, tagging, collects analytics, and settings for displaying the content streams.

RazDog claims that Twitch’s video streaming platform violates these patents with its carousel feature, which allows users to horizontally scroll through different live-streamed video content from various broadcasters via a single scrollable web interface.

Twitch's homepage carousel
(Image: Microsoft, Legal Document Filing)

Additionally, RazDog is accusing aspects of Twitch’s backend systems that control the video carousels infringing the patented “tool box” functionality.

The “tool box” is a backend system or set of tools that provides a remote interface for controlling and customizing how the front-end “slide tool” interface displays and manages the different content streams/sources on the webpage.

The complaint alleges Twitch’s system has a “remote tool box” component that “allows Twitch and its users to adjust the layout, display settings, access controls and other parameters for the content carousel or scrolling interface.

twitch tag and suugesting feed
(Image: Microsoft, Legal Document Filing)

What’s at Stake for Twitch?

RazDog Holdings is seeking a trial by jury in this case and is demanding compensation from Twitch for the alleged infringement.

The company aims to obtain “an amount sufficient to compensate RazDog for Twitch’s infringement,” as stated in the filing.

Twitch Takes Its Trolls to Court

Recently, Twitch itself made headlines when it filed lawsuits against its own users (in the same courNorthern District of California) indulging in “racist, sexist, and homophobic language and content.”

The accused are known as “hate raiders” who use automated bots to conduct “hate raids,” a form of online harassment where streamers’ comment sections are flooded with bigoted, racist, and generally offensive content.

These attacks disproportionately affect streamers belonging to marginalized groups, as highlighted in a recent lawsuit by the company.

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