Following complaints filed by Verizon, the U.S. government has agreed to investigate alleged patent infringement.
Verizon filed its claims not with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), but with the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC); the complaint isn’t the patent infringement, per se, but the importation of set-top boxes that Verizon claims infringe its patents.
The boxes in question are three models that Cablevision sources from the former Scientific Atlanta operation owned by Cisco. Dating back to when SA was an independent company, it had used overseas contract manufacturers to build its boxes; thus they qualify as imports.
The USITC said it will assign the case to one of its administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether Cablevision is violating the pertinent trade law (section 337).
The ALJ has 45 days to make a determination.
A decision in Verizon’s favor would force Cablevision to immediately stop importing the Cisco boxes.