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Arris Throws Book at Harmonic

Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) has filed suit against Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT), alleging that Harmonic's StreamLiner 3000 video server infringes on four patents that describe methods for processing and transmitting digital video.

Arris is seeking an undisclosed amount of cash compensation and a court order to stop further alleged patent infringement, according to Bloomberg. Arris filed the suit on April 19 but has not yet served it, suggesting that the two companies may attempt to negotiate a settlement.

"We very much would like to resolve this in an amicable manner," Arris spokesman Alex Swann told Light Reading Cable. Harmonic amicably declined to comment.

The four Arris-owned patents in question are:

  • 6,112,226 -- Method and apparatus for concurrently encoding and tagging digital information for allowing non-sequential access during playback
  • 5,659,539 -- Method and apparatus for frame accurate access of digital audio-visual information
  • 5,864,682 -- Method and apparatus for frame accurate access of digital audio-visual information
  • 6,119,154 -- Method and apparatus for non-sequential access to an in-progress video feed


The suit, filed with the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, comes almost four years after Harmonic got into the video server game by buying the video-on-demand (VoD) assets of Entone Inc. for $45 million. It also comes as Harmonic continues to gain VoD traction overseas, notching deals with China's Changzhi Municipal Radio, Film & TV Bureau; Norway's Altibox AS; and Germany's Kabel BW GmbH & Co. (See Harmonic Spends $45M on Entone VOD-Ware.)

Harmonic and Arris also make competing edge QAM products.

Arris entered the video server market in a roundabout way, via its purchase of C-COR Inc., which was then the proud owner of VoD gear and software it originally obtained from nCUBE Corp. The patents tied to the case originated with Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), which later transferred them to nCUBE. The patents were also linked to a protracted fight between nCube and SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC). (See Arris Bids $730M for C-COR and C-COR Acquires nCUBE.)

In Arris's case, the patents link to its line of older "origin" n5-series servers. Arris also resells and repackages a newer line of Flash-based servers and video switches developed by Verivue Inc. , a startup helmed by former Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) exec Jim Dolce, but those products aren't involved in this fight. (See Arris Pumps Up Video With Dolce's Verivue .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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