Liberate Squares With OpenTV
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has given its blessing to a joint settlement offer between OpenTV Corp. (Nasdaq: OPTV) and the scraps that are still left of its former interactive television software competitor, Liberate Technologies.
OpenTV noted earlier this week that such a settlement was in the making, believing it would eliminate some "distractions," and allow it to go after the U.S. cable market with renewed vigor. (See OpenTV Sees Legal Liberation.)
As expected, Liberate acknowledged that it infringed on two OpenTV patents (Nos. 5,563,648 and 5,819,034), and that those patents were indeed valid and enforceable. Liberate also dismissed all counter-claims against OpenTV.
OpenTV also confirmed that TV Works LLC, the Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)-Cox Communications Inc. joint venture that purchased the North American assets of Liberate in April 2005, agreed to pay $1.5 million to OpenTV. In turn, OpenTV released TVWorks from past liability obtained from the Liberate acquisition.
Not mentioned in the court order is SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC), which acquired Liberate's international assets in July 2005. Interestingly, OpenTV and Liberate, in a joint statement to the court that sought the consent judgment, noted that OpenTV had concluded in the discovery process that Liberate's "commercial deployment of infringing technology occurred primarily abroad."
OpenTV "will continue to use all necessary means to vigilantly defend its intellectual property portfolio," said OpenTV SVP and general counsel Mark Beariault, in a statement.
So read between those lines if you want to. SeaChange had no comment on the matter.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News
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