Acacia Research Corp., the California-based company that claims it owns a patent covering all streaming video and audio technology, says it has reached an agreement with university attorneys that opens the door for schools to begin paying royalties on their distance-education programs and other applications where these technologies are used on campus networks. The Oct. 12 announcement represents a change in stance for the university community, which had shown little interest in two previous licensing agreements proposed by the company.

The accord is the first sign that the contentious two-year battle between higher-education institutions, which argued that


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