ActiveVideo Sues Verizon Over Five Patents

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Interactive-TV developer ActiveVideo Networks -- which counts Cablevision Systems among its biggest customers -- on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Verizon Communications, alleging the telco's FiOS TV service infringes five of its patents.

Verizon spokesman David Fish said the lawsuit was without merit.

In March, Verizon sued Cablevision in Delaware federal court, accusing the cable operator of infringing several patents with certain digital set-top boxes and demanding that Cablevision stop distributing the boxes, and filed a related complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

ActiveVideo's lawsuit was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The case is docket no. 10-CV-248.

"Since its inception, ActiveVideo Networks has pioneered the development of technologies for interactive television such as video-on-demand and Web content on television," ActiveVideo CEO Jeff Miller said in a statement. "ActiveVideo Networks, its employees and its investors have expended significant amounts of time and money developing these proprietary technologies and successfully deploying them at numerous locations. ActiveVideo Networks respects the intellectual property rights of others and has no choice but to insist that Verizon do the same."

ActiveVideo is seeking an injunction barring Verizon from using technologies that allegedly infringe its patents, as well as unspecified damages.

The suit accuses Verizon FIOS TV of infringing five patents owned and used by ActiveVideo Networks: U.S. Patent No. 6,034,678, "Cable Television System With Remote Interactive Processor"; 5,550,578, "Interactive And Conventional Television Information System"; 6,100,883, "Home Interface Controller for Providing Interactive Cable Television"; 5,526,034, "Interactive Home Information System with Signal Assignment"; and 6,205,582, "Interactive Cable Television System With Frame Server."

ActiveVideo is being represented in the matter by law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

ActiveVideo, formerly known as ICTV, is based in San Jose, Calif., with offices in Los Angeles, Baltimore and Hilversum, the Netherlands. The company says its interactive TV system currently serves more than 5 million homes.

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