ActiveVideo wins patent infringement suit vs. Verizon


Hey, you get off of my cloud: ActiveVideo Networks, makers of the CloudTV Platform, has been awarded (8/3) $115 million in damages from its patent infringement suit against Verizon Communications. The jury trial decision upholds ActiveVideo’s rights as the inventor of industry-leading technology in the delivery of advanced television apps such as VOD navigation and interactive TV. The CloudTV platform is an infrastructure for delivering programming, web content and applications to any TV set-top box and a variety of other home electronics, such as Blu-ray players. It also offers solutions for interactive games and other services. 

CloudTV is currently deployed with major cable system operators, including Cablevision and Time Warner Cable. Following three weeks of proceedings, a jury in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found Verizon had infringed on all asserted claims of the intellectual property owned by ActiveVideo during the deployment of its FiOS fiber-optic television service. 

“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,” said Jeff Miller, president and CEO of ActiveVideo Networks.  “We are seeking immediate payment of the damages that have been awarded by the court; in addition, our legal team, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, will be filing an injunction against Verizon to prevent any further unlawful use of our technology.”

ActiveVideo filed suit against Verizon in May, 2010, alleging its FiOS system infringed on four patents for technology created, owned and used by ActiveVideo.  The patents, which are fundamental to interactive television services such as VOD, include: 

United States Patent No. 6,034,678, titled “Cable Television System With Remote Interactive Processor;”
United States Patent No. 5,550,578, titled “Interactive And Conventional Television Information System;”
United States Patent No. 6,100,883, titled “Home Interface Controller for Providing Interactive Cable Television;” and
United States Patent No. 6,205,582, titled “Interactive Cable Television System with Frame Server.”

“We are delighted that this verdict enables us to continue granting our customers unfettered access to the power of our CloudTV technology,” added Miller.  “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.”

Having pioneered cloud-based delivery of VOD and interactive television, ActiveVideo has a portfolio of patents dating back to the early 1990s. 

RBR-TVBR observation: Verizon and ActiveVideo at one point were working together. Showtime Networks developed an interactive TV app to bring together long form marketing video, remote ordering, and free full-length episodes of Showtime programming, in an easy to use interface. Showtime, in early 2009, was working with Verizon FiOS TV to deploy the application. It was demo’d at NCTA and itaas. Looks like Verizon sought to go it alone with its own patent instead of licensing with ActiveVideo—or even buying it. Maybe something will be worked out between the two companies, otherwise, Verizon is going to have to make some significant changes to the engineering of its cable system.