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Kangaroo Media sues YinzCam over patents

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Thursday, March 29, 2012
 

The billionaire owner of the Miami Dolphins is suing a Pittsburgh company known for its software that allows fans of the Penguins and Steelers to watch instant replays and other video on their smartphones during games, according to a complaint filed in federal court Downtown.

Stephen Ross, a New York real estate tycoon and owner of the National Football League's Dolphins, owns a New York technology company called Kangaroo Media Inc.

Kangaroo Media alleges in its complaint that Squirrel Hill-based YinzCam Inc., founded by Carnegie Mellon University computer engineering professor Priya Narasimhan, has infringed on two of its patents related to mobile video technology used by spectators at sporting events.

YinzCam develops free smartphone apps that allow fans attending professional sporting events to view game replays and other video highlights on their phones during a live game. Since creating apps for the Penguins and Steelers, YinzCam has added similar free apps for two more National Hockey League teams and 16 additional NFL teams.

Narasimhan did not return a call seeking comment. No lawyer was listed for YinzCam in court records. The company had not responded to Kangaroo Media's complaint as of Wednesday.

Ross acquired Kangaroo Media in 2009 and operates the company under the name FanVision, according to Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal. The company competes with YinzCam, though FanVision's business revolves around selling and renting handheld video players to spectators at sporting events. FanVision's devices were distributed to Dolphins season-ticket holders in 2010 and were used by spectators two years ago during Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, the journal reported.

The company recently signed a five-year deal with NASCAR, according to Forbes magazine. Its video players can be used at the home games of a dozen NFL teams, some PGA events and University of Michigan football games.

Ross earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, and the university's business school is named for him.

Attempts to reach Ross for comment were unsuccessful. A message left for his Canonsburg attorney was not returned.

Forbes estimates the 71-year-old Ross is worth $3.1 billion. He purchased the Dolphins in 2009 for $1 billion.

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