Arris Sues Harmonic Over VOD Patents

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Arris Group earlier this week filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Harmonic, alleging Harmonic's StreamLiner 3000 video-on-demand server violates four patents related to VOD trick-play mode.

Arris filed the suit on Monday (April 19) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Arris has been in touch with Harmonic over the VOD patents at least since mid-December, according to Arris.

Arris spokesman Alex Swan said the company has been talking to Harmonic for many months on the patent issue, and said the lawsuit has not been served. "We are hoping to reach an amicable resolution with them," he said. "This is an ongoing dialogue."

San Jose, Calif.-based Harmonic declined to comment on the matter. The dispute was reported Wednesday by Bloomberg.

The four patents at issue were originally awarded to software giant Oracle from 1997 to 2000. Arris obtained the rights to the patents through its 2007 acquisition of C-COR, which had previously acquired nCube. Oracle chairman Larry Ellison had been the majority owner of nCube, and Oracle held a stake in the company.

The four patents are: U.S. Patent No. 5,659,539 ("Method and apparatus for frame accurate access of digital audio-visual information"); 5,864,682 ("Method and apparatus for frame accurate access of digital audio-visual information"); 6,112,226 ("Method and apparatus for concurrently encoding and tagging digital information for allowing non-sequential access during playback"); and 6,119,154 ("Method and apparatus for non-sequential access to an in-progress video feed").

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