Cox Communications Inc. and SeaChange International Inc. announced Wednesday
that they had won a summary judgment of noninfringement in a Beam Laser Inc.
lawsuit in federal district court in Norfolk, Va., earlier this month.
The vendor and the MSO presented their case during a five-day hearing last
month. The final judgment was entered July 9, effectively ending Beam Laser's
claims against Cox, the companies said in a joint statement released
Beam Laser had originally filed its patent suit against Cox and its ad-sales
unit, CableRep Inc., early last year, seeking more than $100 million in damages,
but SeaChange voluntarily entered the suit to aid in the MSO's defense and to
prevent similar suits from being brought against other cable operators, the
In its suit, as well as in letters sent to other cable operators, Beam Laser
had claimed that two patents were infringed by Cox's use of ad-insertion
equipment -- in particular SeaChange's 'Spot System,' the dominant one in the
SeaChange president Bill Styslinger said in a prepared statement, 'We remain
vigilant in protecting the enormous strategic value that our customers have
gained.' The vendor added that its system is deployed in thousands of cable
headends, delivering more than 3 million commercials and promotions daily.
'Beam Laser's intent to chase multimillion-dollar claims from Cox, as well as
the rest of the [cable] industry, was clearly evident,' Cox vice president of ad
sales Billy Farina said in a prepared statement. 'SeaChange joined our case to
disbar this initial unmerited threat to the cable-television