BigBand, Imagine Fail To Reach Patent Settlement

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BigBand Networks and Imagine Communications were unable to reach a settlement on BigBand’s patent-infringement lawsuit, and the companies have asked a federal judge to proceed with scheduling for the case.

BigBand’s lawsuit, filed in June 2007, alleges that Imagine’s products infringe three BigBand U.S. patents covering video-processing and bandwidth-management techniques.

In a letter Friday to the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware judge assigned to the case, BigBand lawyer Karen Jacobs Louden said the parties met on Oct. 16 to attempt to resolve the dispute but could not.

“Accordingly, the parties respectfully request that a scheduling conference be set,” she wrote.

Imagine declined to comment. The company sells equipment to let operators deliver upward of 50% more programming in the same amount of bandwidth, by employing enhanced video encoding and multiplexing technologies which Imagine claims preserves picture quality.

BigBand said in a statement, "While we don't comment on the specifics of any ongoing legal issue, we continue to believe in the validity of our intellectual property and patents and our right to protect them on behalf of our customers and shareholders."

Imagine was founded in 2005 by Ron Gutman and Doron Segev, both previously engineers at BigBand. In April 2006, Imagine hired Jamie Howard, previously BigBand’s chief operating officer, as president and CEO.

Responding to BigBand’s suit last year, Imagine called it "baseless litigation" and categorically denied the allegations. Imagine also asserted that the BigBand patents were invalid and unenforceable.

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