Arbitron announced settlement of its patent lawsuit against The Media Audit and Ipsos. The bottom line is that Arbitron’s patents stand and The Media Audit/Ipsos will not compete in the US with the Smart Cell Phone-based radio ratings system they had envisioned as a competitor to Arbitron’s Portable People Meter. Although the proposal from The Media Audit/Ipsos was the only one to emerge from the RFP launched by Clear Channel and other radio groups in 2006, it had been inactive for some time as Arbitron rolled out PPM and signed major groups as clients.
It turns out that The Media Audit settled with Arbitron months ago, but that had been kept quiet until this month, when Arbitron also struck a settlement with Ipsos.
According to Arbitron, The Media Audit as agreed that the Arbitron patents are valid and that it will not sell, market, test or demonstrate any infringing devices, including but not limited to the Smart Cell Phone device, for as long as the patents remain in force.
Arbitron and Ipsos reached a settlement agreement effectively dismissing Arbitron’s patent infringement lawsuit without prejudice against Ipsos. As a result, said Arbitron, Ipsos agreed to immediately suspend any and all efforts in the United States related to commercialization, testing, and/or marketing a portable electronics measurement system with regard to any and all forms of media until at least January 13, 2012.
The Media Audit Exec. VP Phillip Beswick had this comment last evening: “It is our opinion that it is much more productive for The Media Audit to be focused on helping radio in these challenging times, than to divert its energies to a legal dispute with another supplier. We need to pull together to help radio develop new revenue streams and to help radio prove its great value in the multi-media mix. With the paradigm shift from less transactional business, The Media Audit has focused on helping radio build its direct business with advertisers that have been heavier into direct mail, yellow pages etc. The Media Audit is a multi-media study and and retail consumer study, so we’re ideally positioned to help radio, and I’m pleased to report that it is working.”