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A U.S. Federal Court of Appeals handed C-COR Inc. a legal victory yesterday in a longstanding patent squabble with rival SeaChange International Inc. that it inherited in its acquisition of nCUBE Corp.

In June 2000, SeaChange filed a pair of suits against nCUBE, claiming that the video-on-demand equipment provider's MediaCube-4 product infringed on its patents. C-COR acquired nCUBE in December - and along with it, the patent suits.

On Wednesday, the federal appeals court reversed a September 2000 ruling by the U.S. District Court in Delaware regarding one of the claims, finding instead that the nCUBE technology did not violate SeaChange patent No. 5,862,312. It also sent the case back to the Delaware district court to determine if the SeaChange patent is valid.

An appeal in the second patent case is still pending.

SeaChange, meanwhile, maintains that the appeals court decision will not affect its financial statements or its business going forward.

"We don't believe that this decision will have any impact on SeaChange's future opportunities in the On Demand television market worldwide," said SeaChange President and CEO Bill Styslinger, in a statement.

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