Jury Awards ActiveVideo $115 Million In Verizon Patent Case

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A federal jury said Verizon Communications must pay $115 million in damages to ActiveVideo Networks -- an interactive TV vendor whose largest customer is Cablevision Systems -- after finding the telco's FiOS TV service infringed four ActiveVideo-owned patents.

Verizon said it will appeal the decision. "Verizon disagrees with the verdict, and we are confident a court of appeals will reach a similar conclusion. Verizon won't be paying any damages while the appeal is ongoing," the telco said in an e-mailed statement.

ActiveVideo said its law firm will file an injunction seeking to bar Verizon from further infringing the patents.

"We're extremely pleased that the judge found that ActiveVideo intellectual property was valid and that the jury found that Verizon infringed on all asserted claims," ActiveVideo president and CEO Jeff Miller said in a statement.

On Tuesday, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found Verizon's deployment of FiOS TV violated four of the five patents asserted by ActiveVideo in its suit filed in May 2010. The jury rejected ActiveVideo's claims that Verizon's infringement was willful and also awarded Verizon $16,000 in damages after finding ActiveVideo infringed two of the telco's patents, Bloomberg reported.

The four ActiveVideo patents that Verizon was found to have violated are: 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"; and 6,205,582, "Interactive Cable Television System With Frame Server."

In May, a judge for the Virginia federal district court ruled that two of Verizon's patents asserted in a counterclaim against ActiveVideo were invalid. In a separate action against Cablevision, Verizon had asserted the cable operator infringed one of those patents, U.S. Patent No. 6,381,748 ("Apparatus and methods for network access using a set top box and television").

"Coupled with the court's ruling invalidating Verizon's 6,381,748 patent, this verdict provides further support for our customer, Cablevision, in their defense against Verizon's injunction claims within the U.S. International Trade Commission," ActiveVideo's Miller said in a statement.

Last month the U.S. International Trade Commission declined to review an administrative law judge's ruling that Cablevision did infringe the '748 but did not violate four other Verizon patents related to set-top boxes.

According to San Jose, Calif.-based ActiveVideo, the company first contacted Verizon in 2005 seeking to reach an agreement to deploy its interactive TV solution on the FiOS network.