USVO sues MSOs, loses Movielink appeal

Mon, 07/31/2006 - 8:00pm

USA Video Technology Corp. (USVO) continued to wield the hammer of litigation this summer, this time bringing it down on several of the nation's largest cable operators.

In a suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, USVO is alleging that Time Warner Inc., Cox Communications, Charter Communications and several Comcast Corp. entities are infringing against a patent tied to video-on-demand (VOD) technology.

That patent (No. 5,130,792) describes a "system and method for a user to request, and have delivered over a network, a digitized video program." USVO earlier has said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the patent on July 14, 1992.

USVO said it is seeking "fair compensation and a court injunction against further infringement" in its lawsuit against the MSOs. Officials from the MSOs named in the suit contacted by CED's deadline declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The terms USVO is seeking are similar to those sought in a protracted legal spat with Movielink, a studio-backed, Internet-based movie service.

Based on the results of that case so far, the MSOs named in the latest lawsuit from USVO could find themselves in good shape.

Early last year, USVO lost an earlier round with Movielink, but later sought an appeal. In June, the appeals court, led by a three judge panel, upheld the earlier judgment that Movielink did not infringe on the USVO patent.

"With this victory at the Court of Appeals, we are glad to put this case behind us once and for all," said Movielink EVP and General Counsel Peter Sheil, in a release.


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