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ActiveVideo injunction could hobble FiOS

Fri, 08/12/2011 - 10:00am
Brian Santo

Following its big patent suit win against Verizon earlier this month, ActiveVideo has filed an injunction against Verizon from using those patents in its FiOS TV service.

Last week, a jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found that Verizon had infringed on all four ActiveVideo patents during the deployment of its FiOS television service. ActiveVideo was awarded damages totaling $115 million. Verizon vowed to appeal.

Whatever ramifications this may have for FiOS are unclear.

On the technology side, all four of the patents are explicitly about interactivity, but neither of the principals are commenting on which specific features or elements of FiOS these patents apply to, so there's no telling what the injunction could actually mean for Verizon should it be granted. ActiveVideo's brief statement on having filed the injunction refers to video-on-demand, though the reference is nebulous in context.

Whether or not the injunction will be granted is the other thing that needs to be sorted out. That remains in question with Verizon still appealing the original decision that it violated ActiveVideo's patents.

"The decision of the court to uphold our intellectual property rights was very clear," said Jeff Miller, president and CEO of ActiveVideo Networks. "We insist that Verizon immediately cease its unlawful use of the patented technology developed by the employees and investors of ActiveVideo Networks."

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