Video services

ActiveVideo Wins $115M Case Against Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has been ordered to pay $115 million in damages to ActiveVideo after a jury found the giant operator guilty of infringing on four of the vendor's video-on-demand (VoD) and interactive television application patents.

And now Verizon faces a possible injunction over its FiOS TV service.

The U.S. States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found that the telco "had infringed on all asserted claims of the intellectual property owned by ActiveVideo during the deployment of Verizon's FiOS television service," ActiveVideo said in a release issued Tuesday night.

ActiveVideo, which counts Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) as a customer, noted that it will seek immediate payment and will file an injunction claim against Verizon's FiOS TV service. "Our legal team ... will be filing an injunction against Verizon to prevent any further unlawful use of our technology," the company noted in its press release about the legal victory.

Verizon was not immediately available for comment, but told Bloomberg that it will appeal the verdict and "will not be paying any damages while the appeal is underway."

ActiveVideo filed the lawsuit in May 2010, claiming Verizon infringed on four U.S. patents:

  • No. 6,034,678 -- "Cable Television System With Remote Interactive Processor"
  • No. 5,550,578 -- "Interactive And Conventional Television Information System"
  • No. 6,100,883 -- "Home Interface Controller for Providing Interactive Cable Television"
  • No. 6,205,582 -- "Interactive Cable Television System with Frame Server"

Why this matters
Short of a successful appeal, Verizon could be forced to pay not only the damages but also license fees for ActiveVideo's technologies, as an injunction would affect its ability to deliver video services and compete against rivals such as Cablevision.

The jury verdict also marks the latest chapter in a growing litigious history involving ActiveVideo, Cablevision and Verizon. In another case, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) recently affirmed that Cablevision was violating a patent that could block the MSO from importing several digital set-top box models made by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).

The USITC is expected to make a final decision on Sept. 20, but Cablevision is confident it could be cleared of any wrongdoing. (See Cablevision Still at Risk in Verizon Patent Fight .)

For more
Read more about the suits and countersuits.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

COMMENTS Add Comment
sam masud 12/5/2012 | 4:57:17 PM
re: ActiveVideo Wins $115M Case Against Verizon

Of course VZ is going to throw its lawyers at this one....and then settle with ActiveVideo

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:57:17 PM
re: ActiveVideo Wins $115M Case Against Verizon

Verizon confirmed its going-forward plans regarding the case:

"We disagree with the verdict and we’re confident the Court of Appeals will disagree as well," the company said in an emailed statement.

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:57:16 PM
re: ActiveVideo Wins $115M Case Against Verizon

Right, it's not surprising at all. I just wonder if we'll end up with a years-long legal battle along the lines of the Dish-TiVo battle before all is settled. JB

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