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Summary:

Video-on-demand startup ActiveVideo was awarded $115 million by a jury in a patent infringement against Verizon. The decision comes after three weeks of deliberations and little more than a year after ActiveVideo took the telco to court over patents related to interactive TV and VOD applications.

Patent  Defined

Updated. Video-on-demand technology startup ActiveVideo was awarded $115 million by a jury in a patent infringement against Verizon on Tuesday. The decision comes a little more than a year after ActiveVideo took the telco to court over patents related to interactive TV and video-on-demand applications.

The patent infringement lawsuit was originally filed in May 2010 and involved four ActiveVideo patents:

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

The decision follows three weeks of proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, after which the jury found that Verizon had infringed on all asserted claims in the deployment of its FiOS IPTV service. In May, the district court had invalidated asserted claims on two patents that Verizon had countersued with.

In a statement, Jeff Miller, the CEO of ActiveVideo, said:

We’re extremely pleased that the judge found that ActiveVideo intellectual property was valid and that the jury found that Verizon infringed on all asserted claims . . . We are seeking immediate payment of the damages that have been awarded by the court; in addition, our legal team, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, will be filing an injunction against Verizon to prevent any further unlawful use of our technology.

We expect Verizon to appeal, although representatives for the company could not be reached at the time of this writing. Like most patent infringement suits, this is likely just the first in a number of decisions and appeals that will happen over the course of several years.

Update: Verizon issued the following statement:

Verizon disagrees with the verdict, and is confident the court of appeals will reach the same decision as well. Verizon will not be paying any damages while the appeal is ongoing.

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  1. yet another case of patent extortion.

  2. Bob Varettoni Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Verizon’s statement: “Verizon disagrees with the verdict and is confident that the court of appeals will agree. The company will not be paying any damages while the appeal is under way.”

    1. Duh. This is how any megalithic company responds when it gets a negative judgement. It will take time, but ActiveVideo won round one. Next key test is the injunction ruling.

    2. Thanks, Bob. After hearing back from Verizon we’ve updated the piece.

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