ITC terminates Verizon-Cablevision patent investigation

Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) can continue to deploy advanced digital set-tops from Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), after Verizon (NYSE: VZ) lost a complaint it had filed against its cable rival at the International Trade Commission.

The commission said Wednesday that it wouldn't review an initial determination that one of its administrative law judges made in May that Cablevision hadn't violated Verizon's intellectual property with some of the interactive TV programming it offers through its digital cable service.

Verizon had accused Cablevision of violating section 337 of the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930, and wanted to stop the MSO from importing set-tops from Cisco.

Cablevision was aided in the patent dispute with Verizon by interactive TV vendor ActiveVideo, which supplies the technology that the MSO uses for its mosaic program guide, and interactive TV channels such as MSG varsity. ActiveVideo filed a patent infringement suit against Verizon last year, and a U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia determined that some of the claims in Verizon's patents were invalid. The ITC cited the District Court ruling in its decision.

"There is no violation of section 337 in this investigation based on the preclusive effects of the district court's finding of invalidity. The investigation is terminated," the ITC wrote in the decision.

Verizon spokesman Ed McFadden said that the company couldn't comment until it reviewed the full opinion from the ITC, which the commission is expected to release soon.

For more:
- see the notice from the ITC (PDF)

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ITC refuses Verizon's appeal in Cablevision patent infringement case