Yesterday, Verizon Communications filed a patent-infringement case with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington in an effort to block Cablevision from importing certain set-top boxes.
According to a story by Reuters, a companion suit seeking monetary damages was also filed by Verizon in Delaware. Both lawsuits asked that Cablevision stop selling the set-top boxes, which Verizon previously offered to license to Cablevision.
Cablevision and Verizon vigorously compete for customers in the New York metro area.
"It is becoming increasingly clear that Verizon is having difficulty competing on the merits in the marketplace, so they are resorting to filing lawsuits and pursuing regulatory bailouts,” Cablevision spokesman Jim Maiella wrote in an e-mail. “We obviously plan a vigorous defense."
A story today by Bloomberg.com said the lawsuit alleges that Cablevision is infringing on five of Verizon’s patents related to digital set-top boxes with advanced features, such as the ability to download videos or provision interactive features such as games, local weather and social networking.
“Each of these five patents is important to Verizon’s success in the highly competitive fields of digital video and entertainment services and communications services,” according to Verizon’s complaint in the Bloomberg story. “They ‘enable’ Verizon to offer more advanced and differentiated products and services than its competitors.”