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Irdeto/Canal+ settle patent infringement suit

Tue, 12/04/2001 - 7:00pm
Anne Kerven

Neither side is peeved, they say, but Irdeto Access Inc. and Canal+ Technologies settled a patent-infringement lawsuit under undisclosed terms.

The lawsuit concerned Canal+'s digital MEDIAGUARD conditional access system, which is used in pay TV to ensure that only authorized subscribers can get access to programming content.

In September 2000, TV/COM International, Irdeto's predecessor, filed lawsuits against several companies "to prevent the unlicensed use of TV/COM's patented technology."

The patents, "Multi-layer Encryption System for Broadcast of Encrypted Information" and "A System for Enciphering and Deciphering Digital Signals," were filed in July 1983 and June 1981, respectively, Irdeto said in a statement announcing the lawsuits.

Irdeto alleged that several companies, including Canal+, were supplying conditional access technology to their licensed customers, in violation of the patents.

The company filed lawsuits against Nagra Kudelski and Canal+ in the United Kingdom, and against Canal+ and Seca in the United States.

Both companies are satisfied with the settlement, Irdeto says. Terms are confidential, but both "have agreed to terminate their lawsuits and to pursue their respective business interests worldwide, without any admission by either part of wrongdoing," it says in a statement.

The lawsuits with Canal+ are the first ones to conclude, says Irdeto spokesman Joe Zaller. He would not elaborate on the outcomes, stating that lawsuits against other companies worldwide were still pending.

Canal+ representatives could not be reached by CEDaily's deadline.

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