Video services

Verizon to Fight FiOS TV Injunction

The latest chapter in the patent spat between Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and ActiveVideo kicks off the post-Turkey Day cable news roundup.

  • Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is appealing a permanent injunction ordered last week that prevents the telco from using two ActiveVideo patents and requires Verizon to pay the vendor US$2.74 per subscriber (about $11 million) per month until the injunction takes effect May 23, 2012. Verizon is also trying to overturn all monetary damages awarded to ActiveVideo in the case thus far. "We are confident that the finding of a patent violation will be overturned on appeal," Verizon SVP and Deputy General Counsel John Thorne said, in a statement. Meanwhile, Verizon is working with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) on a workaround "that will end any argument about the use of ActiveVideo's patents," he added. According to ActiveVideo President and CEO Jeff Miller, Verizon "will have to significantly redesign FiOS TV and likely remove much of the functionality that consumers demand." (See Verizon Slapped With Injunction Over FiOS TV.)

  • A U.S. District Judge has tossed out a class-action lawsuit alleging that Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. conspired to create a monopoly over the DVD rental market. Regarding claims of anti-trust violations, the judge argued that Wal-Mart's share of the market was just 1.5 percent when it exited the business, so the decision would not have helped Netflix much.

  • Hulu LLC is in talks with German TV networks to launch over-the-top video services in the country, reports Horizont.net, noting that the Web TV hub may try to enter the market with a subscription-only offering that mirrors a strategy used for its recent debut in Japan. (See Hulu Launches in Japan.)

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) CFO Michael Angelakis has added vice chairman to his title as part of a new employment agreement good through June 2016 that includes two signing bonuses worth a combined $4.25 million.

  • MI-Connection Communications System, a municipal cable operator based in Mooresville, N.C., has hired former Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) exec David Auger as its first CEO. Word of the hire comes as the MI-Connection board inked a new three-year contract with Bristol Virginia Utilities (BVU), which had been running the systems. MI-Connection runs some systems formerly owned by now-defunct Adelphia Communications, and has recently become a member of the National Cable Television Cooperative Inc. (NCTC) , reports DavidsonNews.net.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:47:53 PM
    re: Verizon to Fight FiOS TV Injunction

    With the suits and countersuits and appeals and separate cases involved in this one, I wonder if this will end up rivaling the length of the TiVo-Dish patent fight.  Verizon certainly has the pockets and lawyers to fight this one until all avenues are covered. JB

    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:47:51 PM
    re: Verizon to Fight FiOS TV Injunction

    Yeah, ActiveVideo definitely taking on a heavyweight in this one, but suppose it doesn't hurt that it's got a bruiser like Cablevision in its corner.  And, agreed, the lawyers cash in every inning, so going into extras won't bother them too much. JB


    AESerm 12/5/2012 | 4:47:51 PM
    re: Verizon to Fight FiOS TV Injunction

    There's a David-and-Goliath angle to the is story, which makes it appealing (from an Active Video standpoint). But having known a few VZ lawyers in the past, I'd certainly want more than a slingshot going up against them. And you're right, this probably won't end in one contest. Lawyers tend to like baseball. There are a few more innings ahead.

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